When foul play is suspected, can you challenge a Will?
Many clients approach us with concerns that a family member may have been influenced into making a Will in certain terms, often for the benefit of the person alleged to have been influencing the family member. Whilst the suspicion may be reasonable, this does not always mean there will be a viable claim.
There are two main legal avenues we will consider when concerns based on influence are raised:
- “Undue influence” – This occurs when a person coerces someone into changing their Will to benefit themselves. Evidence must show more than merely persuasion or encouragement on the part of the alleged influencer.
- “Fraudulent calumny” – This occurs when a person makes false representations about the character of another individual, with a view to poisoning the affections of a person making a Will against that individual – primarily with the intention that the representations will impact upon provision made for someone who would otherwise be beneficiary.
Challenges to Wills based on influence and false representations are notoriously difficult to prove, with the acts of influence often taking place behind closed doors. This means there is often little direct evidence to be relied upon.
Contact our Inheritance Disputes team
Disputes around wills and inheritance can be charged with emotion. That is why you need to have a legal team on your side who are emotionally attuned to what you are going through, with a high success rate.