Family Law

Contesting a will

It’s something that will happen to us all and when it happens to a loved one we are devastated. It happens every day around the world and it’s part of the life cycle, but we’re never fully prepared for it. We’re never prepared for death.

Death is inevitable and the stress of dealing with the loss of a loved one can be hard, especially when there is the added trauma of finding out you have not been provided for adequately in the will. So what can you do if this happens?

What is a will?

A will is made to decide what happens to someone’s possessions and property after they die. Although a will does not have to be made by law, it is the best way to make sure an estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as you wish. By making a will you can decide who in your family gets what. If you don’t make a will then the law will make this decision for you.

When a person dies without making a will they are said to have died ‘intestate’. This means that the law decides how the assets of the deceased person should be split between the surviving relatives.

DIY will kits can be purchased online and in shops. However, it is advisable to use a solicitor as there maybe some legal formalities you will need to follow to make sure your will is valid. A solicitor can advise you on more complicated matters and can also suggest how inheritance tax may affect you.

The cost of writing a will can vary so voluntary organisations like the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Age UK can also help with making a will.

Contesting a will

If you weren’t married or registered civil partners, you won’t automatically get a share of your partner’s estate if they don’t make a will. This is a complicated area and if you contest a will you may not succeed. There are certain conditions to meet if you were living with the deceased as a partner but weren’t married, however.

Family structures nowadays are more complex than they were years ago and due to this, it is common for relatives to feel they are entitled to more than they have received in a will.

If you feel you have not received reasonable financial provisions from a will then you may be entitled to contest a will and make a claim. To claim you have to be a particular relationship to the deceased, such as a child, spouse, civil partner or dependant.


If you are unhappy with the terms set out in a will, then it is advisable to get in touch with a solicitor. A solicitor will be able to guide you through the complex process, will be able to help you make a successful challenge and gain an appropriate share of your loved one’s inheritance.

Death is hard for all members of a family and financial problems can make things even worse. If you think that contesting a will is what you need to do remember that it can be costly and sometimes unpleasant, but finding the right solicitor – one who is helpful and professional in your time of need – could make things a lot better.

Author Bio: Mason Brown has a great deal of experience with solicitors in UK and hopes you will find his articles of use. To know more visit