Successful will challenge where the witness was partially sighted
Case study of a successful will challenge made on the basis that one of the witnesses to the will was partially sighted. If you are looking for experienced solicitors to challenge a will or defend a will challenge that has been made, then give our free helpline a call. Contact us on 0333 888 0407 for a free case assessment or send brief details of the challenge to us at [email protected]
We were instructed by Mrs W on a No Win, No Fee basis to challenge the validity of her late aunt’s will. Under the terms of the will the aunt’s entire estate had been left to her hairdresser. We challenged the aunt’s will on the following grounds:
(a) that the aunt lacked testamentary capacity;
(b) that the aunt was unduly influenced; and
(c) that the will was not properly witnessed.
One of the witnesses was partially sighted. We alleged that as such, he could not properly witness the will and that the will did not therefore meet the required formalities for execution, set out in section 9 of the Wills Act.
This was an unusual case, but we relied upon the only reported case on the issue called In the Estate of Charles Gibson, Deceased which dates from 1949. In that historical case the judge said a witness to a will must have “the faculty of seeing”.
Mrs W, who was represented by inheritance dispute lawyer, Naomi Ireson, successfully settled her claim at mediation and received one half of the estate.