Challenging suspicious wills – Paper by Charles Holbech

There are a number of classic features common to probate claims where the validity of a will is challenged. A testator typically executes a new will in favour of one or more family members (often to the exclusion of others). The new will represents a significant departure from the terms of previous wills, which had divided the estate equally between the testator’s children or nearest relatives. The terms of the will are, therefore, surprising or suspicious, at least to the parties who wish to challenge its validity.

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In this paper, Charles Holbech explores in detail the different grounds of invalidity on which a claimant might rely when challenging a suspicious will, including undue influence, fraudulent calumny, want of knowledge and approval, testamentary incapacity and lack of due execution.

This paper was updated in June 2020 to include Goss-Custard v Templeman [2020] EWHC 632 (Ch) and Mason v Robinson [2019] EWHC 4055.

You can download it here.