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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Disputed wills

Q MY stepmother has died and has not left any provision for my father in her will, which she made shortly before she died, when she was very ill. Can my father challenge the will?

EM Poole Townsend head shot - Martin Oates

A YOUR father needs to obtain advice from a solicitor immediately.

There are strict time limits for making a claim. He may have a claim under the Inheritance Act if your stepmother has not made sufficient provision for him.

The court would consider all of the circumstances.

For example, if your father and stepmother owned a property jointly, this may already have been transferred to him under property law.

In addition, your stepmother may have made provision for your father during their lifetimes.

Your father might also have the right to challenge the validity of the will on the basis that his late wife might not have had capacity when making her new will or if she was influenced by another family member.

If the will is found to be invalid then the court may choose to follow an earlier will (if any) or may deem that your stepmother died intestate and your father would be entitled to all or most of her estate.

I must emphasise that it is important for your father to take professional advice from a solicitor as a matter of urgency.

Q I AM 17 years old. I was living with my aunt when she died unexpectedly and without making a will.

I have been financially dependent upon her and she had always promised to help me financially through university.

She has not left me anything and I am told that her property and money will go to her brother. My aunt and her brother fell out with each other and have not seen each other for years.

Can I make any claim for financial provision?

AAS you were dependent on your aunt you are likely to have a claim under the Inheritance Act.

You need to take advice from a solicitor immediately as there are strict time limits in which to claim.

If you have any query about a disputed will telephone Michelle on 01229 402229 or Jane on 01229 402243. Come along to our FREE legal surgery every Wednesday, Duke Street, Barrow, 4.30pm to 6m.

Your first appointment is FREE without obligation.

Turn to Poole Townsend for all your legal needs.

Visit www.pooletownsend.co.uk

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