Will Validity Challenge Successfully Defended

Mr E contacted us when faced with a caveat that had been entered against the estate of which he was a beneficiary. The claimants who entered the caveat alleged that the Will was invalid on the basis of lack of capacity, undue influence and want of knowledge and approval.

Inheritance Dispute lawyer, Naomi Ireson, represented Mr E. She pressed the Claimants to produce evidence in support of their claim, but it turned out that this was sparse. In turn, we produced our own, comprehensive evidence which showed that the deceased had capacity, was not unduly influenced and knew and approved the terms of her Will.

The Claimants refused to remove their caveat, but made no attempt to progress their claim. This is a common scenario and calls for decisive action to be taken to break through the stalemate. We therefore issued a summons requiring the Claimants to remove their caveat or issue a probate claim within six week.

The Claimants issued their claim. However upon realising that it was without merit, they subsequently discontinued the proceedings.

Mr E recovered his legal costs from the Claimants on an indemnity basis, which meant that he recovered every penny of his costs from them.

This case illustrates the lack of understanding on the part of some Claimants when entering a caveat against an estate and the need in certain cases to be robust in defending such claim and forcing the Claimant’s hand.

If you are faced with a similar invalidity dispute, contact Naomi Ireson on 01823 354545 for free initial guidance, or by email naomi.ireson@sleeblackwell.co.uk