Gemma Smith , a lawyer in our Commercial Litigation Team takes on contentious probate cases that involve will disputes and contesting estates. I asked her what she thought of this latest news story;

"Challenging the validly of a will is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly due to high profile and unusual cases in the media which have fuelled the public’s knowledge of the ability to do this in certain circumstances. However, this is a bizarre case where Ms Henderson, the deceased’s wife, challenged the validity of an earlier will which left the majority of the estate to the deceased’s daughter and argued a second home made will leaving everything to her, was valid. Interestingly, the second will was purportedly found in an empty bag of Doritos in the deceased’s loft! The court looked at the circumstances surrounding the second will which aside from being home made and contained a number of glaring errors. The second will was found to be forged.

 Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop someone challenging the validity of a will, and indeed there are circumstances where there are genuine concerns about a will which need to be explored. But it is important to seek legal advice both to ensure it is properly drafted to help avoid your will being challenged, or if you have concerns about the validity or circumstances surrounding the making of a will."