If you are thinking of disputing a Will, you should first seek further information from the solicitor or will writer who prepared it.
So long ago as 1979, the Court of Appeal decided that “….to avoid costly litigation….and where there are circumstances of suspicion attending the execution and making of the will, one of the measures which can be taken is to give full and frank information to those who might have an interest in attacking the will as to how the will came to be made.”
Where a serious dispute arises as to the validity of a Will the solicitor should make available a statement of their evidence regarding the execution of the Will and the circumstances surrounding it. The way to obtain the information is to make a formal written request to the solicitor or will writer for information. A well-kept file enables the information to be made available promptly once it has been retrieved. These days, it is not unusual, initially, for a copy of the Will file to be disclosed as many of the usual questions or queries may be answered by what it contains.
This includes the instructions given and if changes made from an earlier will, you would expect an explanation. If the information in the file is insufficient, then a witness statement can be requested from the solicitor or will writer. The request must be based on real suspicions about the validity of the will as there is a risk of the request being refused if it is simply a fishing expedition or mere curiosity.
A fee may be charged for the provision of the information.
Please contact us for further information and advice.