Probably one of the most emotional things to deal with is if you feel a child has been unfairly left out of the will of an adult they were close to. If that child was financially dependant on that adult (most commonly a parent or other guardian), then they might have grounds for contesting a will. This, though, will almost certainly need to be done on their behalf.
Typically, if you are looking to contest a will on behalf of a child under the age of 18, you need to be able to prove you have their best interests at heart and are not working for yourself. Ideally, disputing a will for a minor should be done by their surviving parent or other guardian. To make sure that everything is done according to the law and in the interests of the child, you should contact a solicitor as soon as you think you have grounds for disputing a will. This will help you ensure that the proper process for making a claim is followed.
Talking through the case with a specialist solicitor will help as they will be able to advise you whether you have a case for disputing a will and how they think the case might proceed if they agree to take it on. If the solicitor thinks that you do have a case that’s worth running, then you can begin proceedings. It is likely that you will have to sign forms on behalf of the minor and might also need to prove that you are eligible to act on their behalf. You also need to agree to adhere to any court judgements as you would if you were contesting a will on your own behalf.
Other times, you might find yourself in the position of disputing a will on behalf of someone who is disabled or otherwise unable to make decisions on their own behalf. If you will be acting for them, then you need to be registered as their power of attorney. The Attorney must be over the age of 18 and the person in question should ideally have granted the power while they were still mentally capable of doing so, although there are procedures in place for if an unexpected situation arises.
Challenging A Will Using A Power Of Attorney
To be a power of attorney, you must register with the Office of the Public Guardian before the courts will recognise you as acting in the capacity of someone else. Once you have done this, you will be able to act for the person in question providing you keep their best financial interests and welfare at heart. You must also keep all of their financial affairs entirely separate from yours to prove that they are independent from you and you do not seek to gain by contesting a will on their behalf.
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