Q&A - Schizophrenic Aunt's last Will was drawn up without her being fully aware

Q: My aunt passed away last month. She was schizophrenic and was living in a care home. Her finances were under the care of the Court of Protection. I know that she had made a Will before she became ill, which left all of her belongings to me, my brother and my sister in equal shares, and we were all to be joint Executors of her estate. However, since my aunt's death, I've found out that a new Will was drawn up within the last year which leaves everything to my sister and names her as sole Executor. The Will has not been endorsed by any doctor and there was no change in my aunt's condition prior to her death. Can my brother and I do anything to challenge this new Will?

A: You should consult a solicitor immediately as they will need to take steps to protect your position.  Your solicitor will place a notice on the register to prevent a Grant of Probate from being obtained in relation to your aunt's estate.  It will then be necessary to examine the circumstances of the signing of the new Will to establish whether the formal requirements were adhered to and whether your aunt had sufficient capacity to make a new Will.  Because of her condition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it will be presumed that your aunt did not have capacity to make a new Will, which will make the new Will invalid. It is essential that you take legal advice as soon as possible, as you will only have a limited amount of time to take action.