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Disputing a Will
Grant of Confirmation
Sheriff Court Offices
0845 218 0152
How To Dispute A Will In Scotland
Dispute A Will:
Not all cases where a potential beneficiary wants to dispute a will result in the case reaching a civil court in Scotland as many arguments are settled with the agreement of all parties before trial. Of those cases that do go to trial there are several reasons which could account for the case being heard in full before a Scottish court:
- The will must be signed and witnessed properly and the witness should not be a spouse or a beneficiary.
- The person making a will must not be the subject of undue influence. If there is any potential evidence to suggest that the person may have been forced to make a will without their agreement or consent, then that can give rise to a civil court case. A will can only be made by a person of their own volition and if there is undue influence then the beneficiaries of an earlier will who have been left out of a later will may seek to dispute a will to establish their prior entitlement.
- The person making the will must understand what they are doing. There are particular dangers for the elderly in regards to mental disabilities caused by senility. To dispute a will on these grounds it is usually necessary to produce compelling medical evidence
- There are cases where a will can be written by the deceased and signed correctly, and yet still not be valid in the eyes of the law. This most often happens when the person making the will has failed to make any provision for one or more dependents that they are leaving behind. In this case those dependents can dispute a will and may be entitled to a share of the estate.
Lost Or Revoked?
Despite all the measures you can take to prevent it happening, it does sometimes happen that a Scottish will is simply lost. If some of the people surviving the deceased know that a copy exists and they can present evidence as such, then the case may go to court in SCotland and a may be accepted as fact - provided there is no evidence to suggest that the original was destroyed by the deceased because they no longer wished it to be valid.
A will can be revoked by either a new will with a specific clause that revokes all previous wills or by physical destruction by the testator or by someone else in the testators presence and at the testators request. An accidentally damaged will is not revoked so for example is the family dog eats the original will, it is still valid and may be able to be proved by the use of a copy.
It is complex points such as these which make it important to ensure that you have the right solicitor taking on your case, should you need advice and assistance regarding a matter of contentious probate. Fortunately our service can provide that help for you; all you need to do is call or write to us to benefit from the wealth of experience our panel of solicitors hold in dealing with all matters relating to wills and probate.