Losing a loved one is an event that undoubtedly shakes our foundations, and some people are then struck by the additional tragedy of being disinherited.

What can be done if this has happened to you? Danielle Blaylock is a solicitor specialising in supporting people with Will disputes and can understand the pain of this situation. Here she explains where you stand if you have been disinherited.

“Experiencing problems around a loved one’s Will can bring up a lot of difficult feelings. For instance, issues can arise where you may believe that someone else influenced your loved one to change their Will, thereby disinheriting you. It’s a very painful thought, one which can complicate the grieving process, too.”

Danielle goes on to explain that this influence can take a number of forms: “Sometimes people worry that another beneficiary, a person who was also set to inherit from the Will, forced someone to change their Will. This change could lead to the other beneficiary inheriting more, or all, of the estate.

“In cases where this is a concern, it’s really important that you can prove to the court that the other person had forcibly coerced the deceased to change their Will. But just because there wasn’t a forceful coercion, that doesn’t mean that the deceased wasn’t influenced.

“I have seen cases, Danielle continues, “where, on rare occasions, the court will consider something called ‘fraudulent calumny.’ This is when the deceased change their Will because they were told lies about someone who was meant to inherit from the Will.”

Wirral Globe: Danielle Blaylock is a solicitor specialising in supporting people with Will disputes and can understand the pain of this situation.Danielle Blaylock is a solicitor specialising in supporting people with Will disputes and can understand the pain of this situation.

This painful process involves someone else telling lies about a person’s character, affecting how the person making the Will feels.

“Rather than forcing a person to change their Will by threatening, persuading, or coercing them, fraudulent calumny relies on the person making changes of their own free will because their views altered by the other person’s lies.”

There have been a few cases where people were able to prove that another beneficiary had lied about their character to the deceased. One such example was Edward vs Edward (2007), in which one man inheriting his mother’s entire estate, after lying to his mother about his brother stealing from her.

The court concluded that in cases like these, where a person “poisons the mind” of the person making the Will against someone who would usually have benefited from the Will, the disputed Will should be set aside.

“There are a number of ways that the law can help. For instance, when it comes to drafting a Will, I would always advise people to seek out a professional who can document the reasons for any changes to the Will.

“When the person making the Will has been subject to undue influence, or has been told lies about another person, the Will is often handwritten, which can pose issues. If you’ve got concerns about the validity of a Will, or about being disinherited, it is vital to speak to someone who specialises in this area of law. You absolutely do not have to face this difficult time alone.”

Danielle Blaylock specialises in Will disputes like these and can help you find certainty.

If you would like to talk to one of our empathetic specialist advisers, you can call us free on 0808 296 3258 (also free to call from mobiles) or email enquiry@jacksonlees.co.uk. Alternatively, visit our website www.jacksonlees.co.uk