Q: My brother moved in with our father after he divorced. Ten years on he is still there, claiming he has stayed because our father is lonely. I am sure he has stayed for purely selfish reasons though. He lives there for free because dad feels sorry for him and he tries to influence dad with his hard luck stories, probably in the hope that dad will favour him over me in his Will.
I don’t need dad’s money as my husband is a successful businessman and we have a comfortable living. But I don’t see why my brother should have dad continue to pay for his mistakes after he dies. If dad did leave him the bulk of his estate, would I have a legal right to challenge it?
A: There are several ways that someone can challenge a will. A Will is invalid where there has been fraud, or the deceased has been coerced by a beneficiary into making a Will in their favour. Similarly, a Will may be invalid if it is shown that the deceased didn’t have the capacity to make it, or didn’t understand or approve its contents, or it hasn’t been completed properly.
Husbands, wives, civil partners, children and dependants can also make a claim if they have been excluded from a Will, or believe they have not been left enough. In the case of a young child being excluded from a Will, a claim can be brought on their behalf and a Judge has the power to order that they be provided for. However, where adult offspring are excluded from a Parent’s Will, they would usually need to prove that they had been financially dependent on the deceased Parent, to succeed in a claim.