Contesting a Will Due to Undue Influence or Duress

Contesting a Will Due to Undue Influence or Duress

Contesting a Will Due to Undue Influence or Duress

A Will can only be considered valid if the testator wrote or amended its terms without being forced or unfairly influenced by anyone else. If someone has been subject to undue influence or duress when writing a Will, this could provide grounds to contest its validity. This is something our contentious probate solicitors will be able to support you with.

At Tinsdills Solicitors, we have strong expertise in handling wide range of legal disputes. With our support and legal guidance, our team will be able to take you through the process of making or defending a claim of undue influence from start to finish, ensuring you have the right support to achieve the right outcome for your circumstances.

We have developed strong negotiation skills, which we use to help resolve any potential disputes amicably, wherever possible. Our focus is to help you secure the best possible outcome. We can also support you where court proceedings are required and can provide robust representation to ensure your interests are firmly protected.

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    Our team also have a wide range of expertise in other matters related to contested Wills, Trusts and Probate. Find out more about these services here.

    To discuss contesting a Will due to undue influence or duress with one of our contentious probate solicitors in Hanley, Leek, Newcastle-Under-Lyme or Sandbach, please call 01782 652300 or use the enquiry form on the right hand side of the page.

    Our Expertise with Contesting Wills Due to Undue Influence or Duress

    Undue influence or duress is one of the grounds upon which you can challenge the validity of Will. If you have reason to believe that a testator was coerced or pressured into making changes to their Will that did not accurately reflect their wishes, you may be in a position to bring forward a claim if this can be proven.

    Undue influence may have occurred if the deceased changed their Will dramatically or made alterations that were in direct contrast to any of their previous requests. It could also be the case that someone who had not been included in a Will became a sudden beneficiary with no warning or explanation.

    Our contentious probate solicitors can work alongside you to investigate allegations of undue influence or duress, supporting you in making a claim. We can help you to build a strong case if the evidence is there that undue influence or duress has taken place,  negotiating with the other parties to resolve the matter with a positive settlement.

    If a Will you are due to benefit from is being contested due to undue influence or duress, it can be an incredibly stressful situation. Our contested Wills solicitors can support you in defending against these claims, establishing the facts of the matter and ensuring the Will is properly executed.

    We can collate and review all of the necessary evidence surrounding the creation of the Will, helping to demonstrate that undue influence or duress did not take place during the creation of the Will.

    Meet our Dedicated Contested Will Team

    Get in Touch With our Contested Will Solicitors Today

    Do you want to discuss a contested Will case? We have expertise in this area and more.

    With a dedicated team on hand to take you through every step of the process, you can rest assured that we will provide you with the best chance of getting the outcome you deserve.

    To arrange an appointment with one of our contentious probate solicitors in

    Newcastle-Under-Lyme, or Sandbach,
    please call 01782 652300 or use the enquiry form on the right hand side of the page.

    Undue Influence or Duress FAQs

    Undue influence or duress refers to any actions or unethical means that would have persuaded an individual to include certain terms in their Will – typically to directly benefit someone when they may not have otherwise benefited.

    Someone may give in to undue influence or persuasion because they are afraid of the person putting pressure on them, or they are worn down to the point where they are unable to say no to the requests.

    Undue influence can include many different actions, including but not limited to:

    • Emotional manipulation
    • Verbal bullying
    • Physical violence
    • Lying to frame others in a negative light

    This is different to the act of simply persuading someone or appealing to them. While there may be disagreements over how fair or moral this is, it is not illegal to simply:

    • Remind someone what is owed in a Will
    • Request something out of genuine financial necessity

    The important distinction is that there needs to be an element of coercion, with no other explanation for the contents of the Will.

    Proving undue influence can be a complex process, but it is possible. It relies on demonstrating that there is no other reasonable explanation for the contents of the Will other than there being an example of coercive behaviour.

    It needs to be shown that the deceased would not have written their Will in this way without there being some degree of pressure or bullying.

    There are some indicators which point toward undue influence taking place, such as where:

    • The Will was changed suddenly and without warning
    • The terms of the Will were in stark contrast to previous wishes
    • A new beneficiary was suddenly included in the Will
    • A previous beneficiary of the Will was excluded without warning

    If it can be demonstrated that undue influence took place during the creation of the Will, then it will be deemed invalid and therefore cannot be used. The most recent valid Will is used in its place or, if there is no valid Will, the rules of intestacy are used in its place.

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