Dealing with a Will dispute can be taxing, both emotionally and legally. However, understanding the common causes of why a Will might be disputed can help you be better prepared and protect your interests.

Common reasons for disputing a Will include:

  • Lost or damaged Wills
  • Mental capacity
  • Coercion or fraudulent Wills
  • Mistakes or negligence in Will writing
  • Unreasonable provision under a Will/excluded from a Will altogether

Navigating the complex procedures relating to disputed Wills requires a thorough understanding of legal systems and the diligent investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Will’s creation. At BTMK, we are here to support and advise you.

It is important to note, that while “disputing a Will” and “contesting a Will” are sometimes used interchangeably, contesting may sometimes refer to challenging the entire Will and a dispute may only refer to specific aspects of the Will.


A lost or damaged Will can complicate the probate process. This may lead to a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries disputing the Will.

If a Will cannot be found or has been damaged, questions may be raised about its validity and authenticity.

In these cases, it’s essential to seek expert legal advice so that the intentions of the deceased can be determined, ensuring a fair resolution for all involved parties.


The alleged lack of mental capacity of the testator (the person making the Will) at the time of the Will’s creation is one of the most common reasons why a Will might be disputed.

If there are concerns about the testator’s ability to understand the implications of their decisions or if they were unduly influenced by others (see coercion also), then this could cause challenges/be a reason for a dispute.

Assessing mental capacity will require examination of medical records and witness testimonies, amongst other evidence, in order to establish the validity of the Will.

See also: Lasting Powers of Attorney


If a Will is created or amended under coercion or fraud, this can invalidate the contents of the Will and lead to a dispute.

It’s crucial to seek legal guidance if you suspect that there is or was any undue influence (coercion) exerted on the testator or fraudulent activity surrounding the Will.

Our experienced solicitors can help you challenge the Will’s validity by examining evidence, including witness testimony, documentary evidence, and searching for inconsistencies in the Will’s execution.


Mistakes or negligence in the drafting of a Will can result in unintended consequences, leading to potential disputes among beneficiaries.

Ambiguous language, incorrect distribution of assets, or failure to comply with legal formalities are all common issues when it comes to mistakes and negligence in Will writing. Inexperienced drafting or using DIY will kits can be a cause of errors and often result in a partial intestacy causing issues and disputes

Seeking expert legal assistance when drafting or reviewing a Will minimises the risk of mistakes and Will ensure clarity and accuracy in its provisions.

We can help you write a clear and concise Will, find more information on our Wills page.


It might be that you need to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act for not being adequately provided for within a Will or a Will may exclude you altogether. It might be that you are a beneficiary having to defending this type of claim.

Our specialist team deals with these claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 regularly and can provide you with expert advice when bringing/defending these types of matters.

Back to Wills Disputes and Contentious Probate

Get in touch

Give us a call today for a FREE initial chat with one of our legal experts

03300 585 222

Call for a free chat

Give us a call today for a FREE initial chat with one of our legal experts.

Get in touch