On what grounds can a will be challenged? Disputes (personal)

A will can be challenged on a number of grounds:

  • Undue influence
  • Lack of knowledge and approval, meaning the deceased was not aware of the contents of the will or there were suspicious circumstances
  • Fraudulent and forged wills
  • Lack of valid execution, for example, requirements weren’t met in terms of who signed the will and how
  • Testamentary capacity, which covers the legal ability and mental capacity of the person making the will
  • Rectification and construction, where a clerical error is made when the will is written

A further type of claim is also on the rise, where family members or other dependants of the deceased have not been adequately provided for by the deceased’s distribution or under the intestacy rules. These types of claims are not strictly a challenge to the validity of the will. Instead they are a claim against the estate for a reasonable financial provision.