Important Time Limits

Deadlines on Contesting A Will

It is crucial that if you are unhappy with a will, you seek legal advice immediately. For the following reasons :-

  • it is important that estate assets are preserved and distributed until any dispute has been resolved
  • tactically it is often better to stop probate ( by placing a caveat ) and contest a will than after probate has been issued
  • there are very important time limits that exist which provide that a claim must be made within a prescribed time.
  • Time limits are different depending on the type of claim

Contesting a will after probate has been issued

If you are making a claim under the Inheritance Act the timelimit is very strict, just 6 months after probate has been issued. To bring or make a claim outside this period the permission from the court must be obtained and this is not very easy.
If there is an error with the will, and you need to apply to the Court to rectify the will, then the time limit is 6 months from the date of probate.

Other important timelimits

Fraudulent claims

There is no timelimit for fraudulent claims, however often practical issues arise eg. is there any funds left in the estate ? can the person alleged of fraud be traced ? do they have any assets ?

Beneficiary making a claim

The timelimit is 12 years from the date of probate.

Claims for lack of capacity, or undue influence

Strictly speaking there is no timelimit but the key is always to challenge a will, as soon as possible given that estate assets can be distributed etc. Therefore time is of the essence.

If you would like to contest a will, and are unsure of the time limit that may apply, please call us now on 0844 740 1637, Or contact us at

Contest A Will

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