Written out of a Will?

What are your options when you have been written out of a Will?

We specialise in Will disputes, representing clients nationwide. To find out where you stand contact our free legal helpline. Call us on 0333 888 0407 or send us an email.

Specialist Will dispute lawyer, Naomi Ireson, looks at what you can do if you have been written out of a Will.

If you have been written out of a Will by a loved one then you will have several options to consider.

Firstly, look at whether you entitled to make a claim under the Inheritance Act. This Act allows certain individuals to pursue a claim against an estate where a Will has failed to make reasonable financial provision for them. We have previously dealt with Inheritance Act claims on this website and you can find a comprehensive overview of the law here. In simple terms, the Act allows certain classes of individual, such as a child or a spouse, to apply to the court for provision from the estate where the deceased’s Will fails to financially provide for them. So, even if someone intentionally writes you out of their Will all is not lost. If you satisfy the requirements of the Inheritance Act you can make a claim.

If you cannot make an Inheritance Act claim then your other main option is to consider whether the Will itself is valid. For a Will to be valid under the law of England and Wales it must comply with the requirements of the Wills Act. This basically means that:

  • it must be in writing;
  • it must be signed by the testator (or signed for them at their direction and in their presence);
  • the testator must have intended for their signature to give effect to the will;
  • it must be signed (or acknowledged) in the presence of two or more witnesses, present at the same time; and
  • each witness must sign (or acknowledges) their signature in the presence of the testator.

If these formalities are not followed then the validity of the Will can be challenged. Wills can also be challenged on other grounds, such as:

  • the testator lacking mental capacity;
  • the testator being subject to undue influence;
  • the testator lacking ‘knowledge and approval’ of the Will’
  • fraud; and
  • fraudulent calumny.

If the Will is declared invalid then the testator’s previous Will shall have effect. If there is no other earlier valid Will then the intestacy rules apply.

So, if you have been written out of a Will then consider whether you are entitled to make an Inheritance Act claim or seek to have the Will declared invalid.

For expert guidance on contesting a Will contact our free legal helpline by calling 0333 888 0407 or sending us an email.



Written out of a Will?