Contesting a Will made undue influence

Contesting a Will Made Undue Influence

We are often contacted by people who claim that a Will is invalid because it was made as a result of “undue influence”. Equally we are often contacted by beneficiaries who claim that a will is valid – and they deny there was any undue influence. So, let’s take a look at the law.

Undue influence enables a Will to be set aside where the decision to make the Will has been made as a result of unlawful pressure being applied. Where a Will is signed as result of undue influence then the Will is void and has no effect.

It is important to understand that undue influence is only concerned with “unlawful” pressure. The law recognises that it is perfectly legitimate for a person to seek to persuade someone making a Will to leave a gift to them in that Will. The difficulty is therefore to establish where the line is to be drawn between legitimate “influence” or unlawful undue influence. To quote a case from the 1860s – Hall v Hall it was said that “persuasion, appeal to the affection or ties of kindred, to a sentiment of gratitude for past services, or pity for future destitution or the like – these are all legitimate and may fairly be pressed on a testator”.

There is another problem. By its nature if there is undue influence it often takes place when no one else is present.

As we have said undue influence is an easy allegation to raise but is a difficult allegation to prove.

The Law Commission is currently considering reform of the law so that vulnerable testators are adequately protected from financial abuse in older age. Our Head of Department has been working with the Law Commission to try to ensure that the right balance is struck between protecting vulnerable people on the one hand and ensuring that legitimate gifts are upheld.

In short, the law in this area is remarkably complicated – it’s always best to seek specialist expert legal advice.

Our team has extensive experience dealing with Inheritance Disputes matters. We are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

We are here to help. We can get it sorted. It’s what we do. Call us. It’s free to ask.



Use our contact form to message us below, or alternatively if you feel more comfortable, you can call us on


For fast, friendly affordable legal advice. Contact a member of our team today.


For any questions we may be able to answer, discover our FAQ section.

Contact Us