Soap opera storyline highlights important legal point

1st November 2016

Soap opera storyline highlights important legal point

EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell has often required sound legal advice down the years – and the infamous Walford hard man could do with more judging by the soap opera’s latest storyline.

For those unfamiliar with the BBC One show, Phil’s wife Sharon has discovered the contents of her husband’s will and put him under pressure to change the document.

While there is never any shortage of drama in Albert Square, the latest twist does highlight an important legal point – a will can be contested if there is evidence of undue influence.

Undue influence usually occurs where a testator – the person making the will – is psychologically or physically pressured into giving a particular person a share, or a larger share of their estate than they otherwise would have done.

It can be difficult to prove that the deceased was subjected to undue influence and the courts set a high standard of proof.

What should you do if you suspect undue influence?

If you believe a Will is invalid, you should seek legal advice immediately, as strict time limits apply when it comes to challenging a will. A solicitor will investigate the circumstances surrounding the preparation of the Will and may enter a “caveat” at the Probate Registry to prevent a grant of probate being taken out in the meantime.

It is important to act quickly at the outset to prevent the estate being administered in accordance with an invalid Will and the assets being dissipated.

How can Gotelee help?

If you wish to contest a will on the grounds of undue influence, or for any other reason, our solicitors can help you through every step of the process.

We have a proven track record in cases of this nature and pride ourselves on delivering a sensitive and compassionate service.

You can speak with our lawyers at our offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Woodbridge in Melton, or by calling us on 01473 211121.

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