Undue Influence

Can you challenge a Will under undue influence?

Undue influence is when a person coerces someone into changing their Will to benefit themselves. Contesting a Will using undue influence looks at two possibilities:

Services also offered in

1. Lack of testamentary capacity

If you believe that the deceased may not have had the ability to make a Will or did not realise what they were signing, maybe as a result of:

  • an illness (e.g. dementia, cancer, depression)
  • medication they were taking causing confusion or them to be delirious

then the validity of the Will could potentially be challenged.

It could also be challenged if another person coerced the deceased into making their Will and that the terms of the Will does not reflect the deceased’s true wishes (they were unduly influenced).

2. Lack of knowledge or approval

For a Will to be valid, the testator (the person who made the Will) must have knowledge of the terms of the Will and approve its content. If they didn’t have the required knowledge and approval then the Will can be challenged and declared invalid.

Where there is a correctly executed Will, it is presumed that the testator had the required knowledge and approval of its terms. There are exceptions to this presumption, such as where the testator has a disability affecting their speech, hearing, eyesight, or their ability to write.

If there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the execution of the Will then the presumption of knowledge and approval will not apply. Homemade Wills are vulnerable to such a challenge.

There is often an overlap between challenging a Will on the grounds of lack of knowledge and approval, and a challenge made on the grounds of undue influence. the conduct and state of mind of the testator may be a relevant concern especially if they had they been behaving irrationally or acting out of character. Recent bereavement, depression, temporary confusion due to poor health (such as a urinary infection) can impact in their mental faculties, short of losing testamentary capacity altogether.

Contested Wills Enquiry

Fill out the form and a member of our team will get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Mullis & Peake will use the information you provide in this form in accordance with our privacy policy. With your consent, we may from time to time send you general updates by email or post that we think you will find of interest.This includes notification of upcoming event and updates or alerts containing relevant legal news. You can update your preferences at any time and will be able to easily unsubscribe from anything that you do not wish to receive.

Call us now for contested Will support

Our latest insights

Contested Wills and Financial Provision, Legal, Contested wills and financial provision
Who is able to bring a contested probate claim?
Dec 4, 2023
Contested Wills and Financial Provision, Legal
Organise your affairs to avoid disappointed beneficiaries as life expectancy increases
Dec 1, 2023
Movers & Shakers, Mullis & Peake, Business
Congratulations and Promotions – November 23
Dec 1, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Residential Property
Four things to be aware of before buying a property at auction
Nov 27, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Lease Extensions
A Comprehensive Guide to Statutory Lease Extensions
Nov 24, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Lease Extensions
What is Collective Enfranchisement?
Nov 24, 2023
Court of Protection, Legal, Court of Protection
Autumn Statement 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Movers & Shakers, Mullis & Peake
Upminster BrewDog Event 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Charity & Fundraising, Mullis & Peake
Give a Child a Christmas Campaign 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Legal, Personal Injury, Personal Injury
How are general damages calculated?
Nov 20, 2023
Meet OUR people

Wills and Probate Team


Manzurul Islam

Manzurul is a ​Member and heads our Wills and Probate team.

Contact Manzurul

Martyn Trenerry

Martyn ​is our Chairman and the firms' Compliance Officer for Legal Practice

Contact Martyn

Trudi Bates

Trudi is an Associate at Mullis & Peake, with extensive experience in the Wills and Probate field.

Contact Trudi