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Important Time Limits When Contesting a will

Contesting a will is a very complex area, and very often time is of the essence both to preserve the estate assets whilst there are also strict rules that determine how long you have to contest a will. Always seek help, from a solicitor experienced in will disputes.

Stopping Probate By Issuing a Caveat

To start with you will need to gather evidence, such as obtaining a copy of a will or maybe medical records. This does take time, so therefore to prevent probate from being issued, something called a Caveat can be issued against the estate. Once issued, probate cannot be issued by the probate registry for a period of some 6 months.

Time Limits For Contesting a Will

As there are lots of ways to contest a will, there are separate rules with govern the time limits as to when a will can be contested. Therefore, knowing these is crucial.

Claims for maintenance under the Inheritance Act

The time limit is only 6 months from the date of issue of the grant of probate or grant of letters of administration. Given this very short time limit it is really important that legal advice is sought immediately in order to ensure the claim is made in time. Making a claim takes time, and actually means issuing court proceedings which is very time consuming, so never leave it late.

Whilst an application can be issued to the Court to issue a claim ( outside the 6 month period ) it is very rare for the Court to allow this.

Rectification of wills

If an application needs to be made for a rectification of a will, the time limit is 6 months from the date of when probate was issued.

Beneficiaries making a claim against an estate ?

The limitation for a beneficiary making a claim against an estate is 12 years from the date of death.


There is no time limit for a beneficiary who wishes to bring a claim against an estate for fraud.

Want to contest a will ? Unsure about time limits ?

If you are thinking about contesting a will, time is always of the essence – we provide a free initial case assessment – Call our specialist team NOW on 0845 568 4000

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