There are several reasons why you may need to contest a Will. Perhaps dependants have not been adequately provided for, or you believe certain gifts were made under undue influence. The process for contesting a Will can be lengthy and in many cases, complex. In this post, we take a look at how long you can expect the process to take and factors that may bring this challenging time to an end.
If you are considering challenging the Will, it is essential that you seek specialist guidance and representation. This is a complicated legal process which requires clear and persuasive evidence. For practical advice and support when contesting a Will, please contact us.
If you want to challenge a Will, you should act as soon as possible. Your solicitor will take the time to understand your situation and whether you have a good prospect of success. Some claims are subject to specific time limits. For example, cohabitants can make a claim on the estate of a deceased partner, but there are very strict time limits around bringing a claim. We can advise you about timescales specific to your situation when you contact us.
Challenging a Will can be a lengthy process - sometimes taking years rather than months. To challenge a Will, you will need to apply to the Sheriff Court or Court of Session to have the Will “reduced”. The process involves examining the document and any additional evidence that may include medical records, statements and notes from the solicitor who drafted the Will. The Court will analyse the evidence and decide whether the Will should be overturned.
As this is an expensive and time-consuming process, the solicitor you instruct to assist you will explore all alternative options before advising that you contest a Will. For example, depending on your relationship to the deceased, you may claim legal rights that would be more efficient and often more cost-effective.
As the process for contesting a Will involves making an application to either the Court of Session or the Sheriff Court to have the Will reduced, you can expect that the process may take longer due to COVID-19. Courts are currently experiencing a backlog of cases, and you should act swiftly to seek advice on your situation.
If you have any questions about the issues covered here, or if you wish to discuss any other contentious executries, Wills or estate planning matters with our solicitors, please fill in our contact form or call us on 0131 225 1200.
Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849, as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day as does our commitment to be here when you need us.