The UK’s Trusted Probate Specialists

We frequently receive lots of calls from clients concerned as to whether a will is invalid. So when does a will become invalid ?

The Will

The starting point is the will itself. There are very strict rules which set out how a will must be executed. These rules provide that for a will to be valid, it must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. Whilst this may seem obvious, we encounter many cases in which, the testator maybe hasnt signed the will, the witnesses signed at different times or there are issues with the signature itself.

The execution of the will is by far the most common mistake we encounter, with wills frequently not signed in the presence of at least two witnesses.

The will is unclear

Sometimes the terms of a will can be unclear or plainly wrong. For example:-

  • Mistakes in wills as to gifts with the amounts unclear
  • Gifts failing becuase the Testator no longer owned the asset. This is common with properties – we have acted in many cases when gifts fail in wills as the testator no longer owns the asset
  • Gifts made to beneficiaries who are longer alive but the will fails to provide a substitute clause ( eg. what happens to the gift if it fails )

Lack of Capacity

To make a will the Testator must have had the capacity to do. Many wills are challenged due to the testator not having the requisite mental capacity. You can read more about capacity claims by clicking here.

Wills made under Undue Influence

We sadly see many wills made when the testator may have been coerced or forced under duress to make the will. These wills can be challenged if undue influence is proven.

When happens when a will is declared invalid ?

If a will is declared invalid, then either an earlier will applies, or the intestacy rules will apply.

Are You concerned about a will being Valid ?

We are experienced at advising clients on all issues arising out of wills, and how they can be challenged, to discuss your concerns please contact Tim Murden on 01482 429985 or at tim.murden@tmsolicitors.co.uk, we act for clients nationwide.