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Undue Influence and Contesting a Will

Undue Influence and Contesting a Will


Expert view

 

There are a number of different reasons for contesting a will.

They are:

  • There was excessive pressure or coercion, called undue influence
  • The person making the will, called the testator, lacked mental capacity
  • The will is not valid because it’s been signed incorrectly
  • The person making the will did not understand the changes being made so couldn’t approve them
  • The will was forged or fraudulent
  • The will has drafting errors

But we’ll be specifically looking at undue influence claims in this article – what it is and how you can prove it.

What is Undue Influence?

Undue influence is when an individual puts excessive pressure or uses coercion on someone to change or alter their will to favour them. This can happen over a short period of time or it can happen over a lengthier period.

How Do You Prove Undue Influence? Because the court cannot rely on evidence from the person who left the will as they are no longer alive, proving undue influence can be really difficult.

If you are the one contesting the will, the burden of proof is on you to prove that there is undue influence. This burden of proof is very high and before you decide to go ahead with contesting a will you should get advice from an experienced will disputes solicitor to discuss your options.

A will disputes solicitor can help you to whether you have an option to contest the will on another ground which may not be so difficult to prove. It can be very difficult to prove that persuasion, which is legal, turned into undue influence, which is not.

The most important thing you can do if you are worried about undue influence on a will, is to speak to a specialist will disputes solicitor. They can help you to understand whether you have a potential claim or not and whether undue influence is the best option.

If you need help now, call Simon Price now on 0117 926 4121 or make a Free Online Enquiry.