FAQs on invalid wills


What is an invalid will?

An invalid will is one which does not meet the formal requirements under UK law. There may also be other circumstances surrounding the making of the will which make it invalid.

What is the effect of an invalid will?

If, for whatever reason, a will is invalid, the person will be deemed to have died without a valid will. This is referred to as dying ‘intestate’. The result is that the laws of intestacy apply to decide how the deceased person’s estate will be distributed.

What is required for a valid will?

A valid will must be made by a person over the age of 18 years, at the time of writing. The will must be in writing. The will must also be signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses. Those witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under the will, nor married to beneficiaries under the will.

Are there other vitiating factors?

Obviously, if the will is found to be a forgery, it will not be a valid will. Additionally, if the person making the will was under pressure or duress from another person to write it in a particular way, it will be invalid. And, if the person making the will lacked the requisite mental capacity to do so at the time, it will be invalid.

How can a will be challenged for invalidity?

A challenge to a will on the basis of its validity should be made quickly, preferably before probate is granted. There is a strict time limit of six months from a grant of probate or letters of administration within which a challenge must be made. Negotiations should be commenced with the executor of the will. If no agreement is reached, then a disputed probate action will need to be commenced, with the assistance of a specialist wills and probate solicitor.

Are you looking for expert legal advice on invalid wills? We can help to put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. Call us on 08001 221 2299 and let our dedicated case handlers find the right solicitor for your needs.

08001 221 2299
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Brands we work with
Guardian Unlimited logoTelegraph.co.uk logo
Guardian Unlimited logoThis is money.co.uk logo