Disputes in Wills: Choosing the right legal partner to prevent disputes

Here at Prestige Legal Services, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal advice and support. In this article we’ll touch upon circumstances where disputes might arise and why it’s important to choose a partner who can help prevent circumstances where disputes might arise.

Wills are intended to provide clarity and certainty regarding the distribution of a person’s assets after death. However, disputes can arise, often leading to family conflict and legal proceedings. It’s therefore crucial that you have documents produced properly. 

There are a number of grounds on which a Will might be contested. These include:


  • Lack of testamentary capacity: The testator (person making the Will) must have the mental capacity to understand the nature of their actions and the consequences of making a Will. If there is evidence that the testator was suffering from a mental illness or dementia when they made their Will, it may be possible to challenge its validity.
  • Undue influence: Undue influence occurs when someone is pressured or coerced into making a Will that does not reflect their true wishes. This can be done through threats, intimidation, or emotional manipulation.


    • Lack of knowledge and approval: If a testator (the person making a Will) is unaware of the contents of their Will and has not approved the contents, it may be subject to challenge.


  • Forgery or fraud: If a Will is forged or if there is evidence of fraud, it may be possible to have it declared invalid.
  • The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (IPFDA) – Certain categories of people can apply to the court for provision to be made for them from the net estate of the deceased, where they believe the Will does not provide sufficient financial provision for them. As a professional estate planner, it’s our role to ensure that we are aware of who might have a claim on the estate and we’ll provide guidance on who you might choose to make provision to.


It’s for these reasons that choosing the right firm to support you with your estate planning is crucial.


Resolving disputes in Wills

If disputes arise in relation to a Will, there are a number of ways in which they can be resolved. These include:

  • Negotiation: In some cases, it may be possible for the parties involved in a dispute to reach a negotiated settlement. This can be a cost-effective and time-efficient way of resolving the matter.
  • Mediation: Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties involved in a dispute to reach a mutually agreeable solution. This can be a helpful option if the parties can communicate effectively with each other.
  • Court proceedings: If the parties cannot reach a negotiated settlement or agree to mediation, the matter may need to be resolved through court proceedings. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, but it may be the only option if the parties cannot agree on a way forward.

Disputes in Wills can be complex, time consuming and emotionally charged. At Prestige Legal Services, we support clients with effective planning during the drafting process. Whilst we can never guarantee that disputes won’t arise, proper planning can help to prevent these disputes from happening in the first place or can help to evidence the intentions of the testator. If you have any questions about estate planning and putting proper planning in place, reach out to our team for support.