CONTESTING A WILL ? RECENT CASELAW AND WILL CHALLENGES.
When considering contesting a will, it is open to a party to a number of grounds including; contesting a Will on the basis that the Will may not have been executed in accordance with the Succession Act 1965, contesting a Will where it is alleged that the Testator did not have capacity to execute a Will or contesting a Will on the basis that undue influence was exerted upon the testator when executing the Will. Call us at Call us at 01833847 or fill our contact form
In a recent Judgment of the High Court In the Matter of the Estate of John Coughlan (Deceased) And In the Matter of Section 26(2) of the Succession Act 1965 [ 2022] IEHC 604, a Will was set aside following a successful challenge by an aggrieved beneficiary in circumstances where a grant of probate had already issued in respect of the contested Will. A beneficiary who stood to be disinherited under the terms of a a Will made in 2012 argued that this was not the last Will and Testament of the testator. The beneficiary argued that the Will made in 2012 had been revoked by a second and subsequent Will made in 2015. The Will made in 2015 included a share for the aggrieved beneficiary whereas the 2012 Will did not. The aggrieved beneficiary commenced proceedings contesting the validly of the 2012 Will.
The deceased made a Will in 2012 which was executed in accordance with the Succession Act 1965. This Will bequeathed the testator’s estate to four beneficiaries. In 2015, the deceased made a further Will as he wished to include a fifth beneficiary. This second Will was also executed in accordance with the Succession Act 1965 and revoked the previous Will he had made in 2012. Following the passage of time, the deceased then decided that he no longer wished to include the fifth beneficiary and wished his estate to go to the four beneficiaries originally contained in his Will from 2012.
The deceased destroyed the 2015 Will by tearing it up, believing that destroying the 2015 Will would revive the previous Will he had made in 2012. The deceased did not execute a further Will. Following the testator’s death, an application for a grant of probate had been filed in the Probate Office in respect of the 2012 Will and a grant of probate had issued. The fifth beneficiary sought to contest the 2012 Will on the basis that it had been revoked by the deceased when the testator made a valid Will in 2015 and therefore the 2012 Will could not be revived by simply destroying the 2015 Will. The Court held that the execution of the 2015 Will had by operation of law revoked the previous Will made in 2012 and therefore the Will made in 2012 could not be revived by destroying the 2015 Will. The Court made an order admitting a copy of 2015 Will to probate which contained an inheritance for the fifth beneficiary and cancelled the grant of probate which had issued in relation to the 2012 Will.
CONTESTING A WILL AND LEGAL REMEDIES.
The decision In the Matter of the Estate of John Coughlan (Deceased) And In the Matter of Section 26(2) of the Succession Act 1965 highlights the importance of seeking legal advice when executing a Will and details grounds upon which a beneficiary can successfully contest a Will. Should you wish to read the above decision In the Matter of the Estate of John Coughlan
(Deceased) And In the Matter of Section 26(2) of the Succession Act 1965 [ 2022] IEHC 604, you may do so by visiting www.courts.ie . Should you wish to discuss any of the above issues, please get in touch by contacting us at(01) 833 8147 or alternatively you can email us at [email protected].
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