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Will Claims and Disputes

Disputes in relation to Wills can arise for a number of reasons including:

  • Allegations of undue influence i.e. that the testator or person who made the Will, was coerced by somebody into making the will in a certain way.
  • Allegations of inadequate capacity to make a Will i.e. where evidence is available, medical or otherwise, that somebody did not have appropriate mental capacity to make a Will.
  • Where the Will itself is not “under attack” but promissory estoppel arises i.e. where someone claims that he/she was promised the property and relied on that promise, to his/her detriment, but then finds later that a Will states otherwise.

These circumstances can lead to a Will being challenged by a person making a claim to the Will, resulting in a delay to the probate process. 

To avoid these delays, it is vital that your Will is drafted by a legal professional and not made in haste.  At John A. Sinnott & Co. Solicitors, we will ensure that your individual circumstances and wishes are reviewed and that all scenarios are considered. 

There is a restriction on the discretion of the testator to dispose of their property as they wish. A surviving spouse is entitled to one half of the estate where there are no children or one third of the estate where the testator died leaving children. Thus, if a surviving spouse has been left less than this, they have a right to challenge the terms of the will and can insist upon the allocation of their particular share.

Children do not have a similar right but they can bring a court application in an effort to prove that the testator “has failed in his/her moral duty to provide, having regard to that child’s situation in life”.  Read more about Rights Under a Will.

If you have reason to contest a Will or if you are a beneficiary or executor to a Will that is being contested, we can help you. 

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