The law views a person’s right to determine where they leave their property and assets on death as sacrosanct and only open to variation in exceptional circumstances.
However, Wills can still be challenged - and in addition claims can be made for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, 1975.
Following a person’s death a dispute may arise as to the validity of the last Will that was signed which may require Court proceedings to resolve and determine whether the Will should be admitted to probate. Such challenges must be brought within twelve years of the date of death and include claims alleging:-
Want of due execution - where the Will was not signed or witnessed properly (attested)
Incapacity of the person (called the Testator) making the Will - where the person making the Will was not of sound mind when it was signed
Lack of knowledge and approval - where it is alleged that the person making the Will did not know of or approve of the contents of the Will
Undue influence - where the Will was signed under coercion, though not necessarily force
Fraud - where the person who made the Will did so because of false information that induced them into making the Will
Revocation - where the Will had been revoked by marriage, divorce, subsequent Will or codicil, destruction, revival of an earlier Will or codicil, or by alteration or obliteration
In addition, where the Will results in a distribution of the estate contrary to the apparent wishes of the deceased, a claim may be possible against the professional adviser who prepared that Will.