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Divorced man granted permission to challenge will

A divorced man has been granted permission to appeal the will left by his mother-in-law.

In Randall v Randall, the man and his wife had agreed, as part of their divorce settlement, that if she inherited more than £100,000 from her mother, the excess funds would be divided equally with him. When her mother did pass away, she reportedly left precisely £100,000 to her daughter and the remainder (approximately £150,000) to the wife’s children from another relationship.

The man then applied for permission to contest the will, arguing, under the Wills Act 1837, that it was not valid. He alleged in particular that “it does not appear that the deceased intended by her signature to give effect to the alleged will”.

At an initial Court of Appeal hearing ,counsel for his ex-wife insisted that, as he did not have the right to administer the will, he was also not eligible to challenge it in in court.

But Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson was unpersuaded, saying that the husband was not a “mere busybody” and had a “real interest in challenging the validity of the will”.

His Lordship declared:

“…justice in the general sense requires H to be able to bring his probate claim to set aside the will.”

If his claim succeeds, the husband will receive approximately £75,000.

Read the ruling here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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