6 Reasons Your Will Could Be Challenged After You Die

Posted on: 10 January 2018

Writing a will is one of those important tasks that people always put off, largely because nobody likes thinking about their own death. Once you do get it finished, however, it's a huge relief to know your wishes will be carried out and the important people in your life will be taken care of.

Just because writing your will is out of the way, it doesn't mean you can forget about it forever, though. There are times when confusion can arise, and your will might be challenged. It's important to be aware of these so you can make arrangements to fix the problem while you're still able.

Your will isn't legally binding

There are cases where a handwritten will made at home can be carried out as intended, but it's too much of a risk. Make sure your will is produced by a lawyer and witnessed properly according to the law.

You have multiple wills

Sometimes, people want to make changes to their will, and it's easier to just write a whole new one. It's important to do this under the guidance of an expert, as the existence of multiple wills can open up the possibility of your wishes being contested. Ensure any previous wills are revoked and destroyed.

You made changes, but not correctly

If you make any changes to your will, it needs to be as official as the original document. Don't be tempted to alter the document yourself – you should see your lawyer and arrange for a witness to be present.

Your mental capacity may have been impaired

If there's a chance someone could make a convincing claim you were not of sound mind when you wrote your will, they can use this in a challenge. This might be the case if you were suffering from a period of mental or physical illness. Get a new will made, with medical backing for your mental capacity if necessary.

You didn't provide for those you're responsible for

Dependent children and others who rely on you financially must be provided for in your will. If you exclude them for any reason, their dependence is grounds for a legal challenge. If you divorce or your circumstances change so that someone is no longer reliant on you, you can make a new will or change the old one.

You used ambiguous wording

If you've ever read a legal document, you probably noticed how confusing they can sound. This is because the wording needs to minimise any risk of unintended interpretation. Another good reason to hire a lawyer for your will is that it will help avoid ambiguity.


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Hello, my name is Jenny. I am happily married and have two kids. A few years ago, I started a company with my husband. At first, it was just the two of us working away from home, but as the business took off we had to think about hiring more staff. The company grew in size from 2 people to 4 people to 10 people. Once the number of staff reached double figures, I realised that I needed to make sure that I had legal paperwork and contracts in place so I could hire and fire staff if need be. We hired a lawyer to work with us so we could make sure our business was well within the law.