Can you contest a Will after the Grant of Probate?
Contesting a Will after the Grant of Probate has been obtained is complex. It is possible to contest the validity of a Will at any time, provided that you have an interest in the deceased’s estate, either as an executor or beneficiary under a previous Will or under the laws of intestacy.
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Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, it would be necessary to bring a claim for it to be revoked. The longer the delay in bringing a claim the more likely it is that the executors will have distributed the deceased’s assets to the beneficiaries. It may be possible to recover the assets from the beneficiaries but there is a risk that they will have been spent or sold.
There are different limits on how long you have to make a challenge depending on the basis of your claim:
- Inheritance Act claim: 6 months from the date of grant
- Rectification claims: 6 months from the date of grant
- Beneficiary making a claim against the Will: 12 years from date of death
- Fraud/claiming against an executor for appropriating estate assets: No time limit applies
Some of these claims need to be made very quickly following the grant of probate. It is advisable to act as quickly as possible because the longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to trace assets.
The best possible scenario is that you raise your claim before probate has been granted and avoid any of the assets being distributed. This is often achieved by entering a caveat at the Probate Registry to prevent the grant being issued.
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Manzurul is a Member and heads our Wills and Probate team.
Martyn is our Chairman and the firms' Compliance Officer for Legal Practice