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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Can you contest the will if your father has left everything

Customer Question

Can you contest the will if your father has left everything he and your (dead) mother jointly owned to his second wife? If so, what are the chances of succeeding?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


Thanks for your question.


I assume there is not fraud or capacity issue in the making by your father of his will.


If no provision has been made by your father for you then you may be able to make a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent) Act 1976. You must make the application within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate in the estate and you will need a solicitor to do it for you.


The Court will consider what is a "reasonable financial provision" for you and will take a number of factors in to account in determining what is fair (eg. size of the estate, other claims, resources and needs of other family members/dependants, responsibilities the deceased had to you), each case turns on it's own facts and there are no hard and fast rules to work out what you are entitled to without taking full and detailed instructions.


It would be folly for me to predict whether you would be successful without be having received you detailed and specific instructions, but it is certainly something you should take advice on from a local solicitor. Ask them for a free initial meeting about it, take details of your father's estate.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for this. I'm not a dependent,I'm an only child, and am married with 3 grown up children, but feel it's unfair to leave both money and house to his 2nd wife. His current house was paid for with proceeds of sale of my parents house, which had absorbed the proceeds of sale of my mother's parents' house when my gran went to live with them. His current wife did not own a house, she lived in a council house. Of course if she dies after him everything my parents owned will go to her 6 grown up children. This doesn't seem fair, and my question is - is this correct under English law, or do I have a claim as his daughter?
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

On the facts, you may be able to make a claim under the above mentioned act. You need to seek specific advice from a local solicitor on an initial free meeting though, insist on it being free - one will do this for you.


You can find local solicitors through the following Law Society website:-


Good luck.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Make sure you get the solicitor to see you for a free initial meeting.


It's very difficult to claim if you were not a dependent of your father immediately before death. You may be able to agree a settlement with his second wife by posturing you may consider making an application and that's why I suggest seeing a solicitor on a free initial basis.