“Peppercorn” bequests in Wills

Can a “peppercorn” bequest prevent a Will challenge?

It is often thought that leaving a very small bequest to a beneficiary will have the effect of preventing that beneficiary making a challenge to the Will.

This is not the case. It has been held by the courts that “peppercorn” bequests do not have the effect of preventing a person from seeking a court order that more adequate or proper provision be made for them.

So, a term in a Will like – “I leave a dollar to my son William” will not prevent William from making a (potentially) successful challenge. The challenge might not be successful on other grounds, but the defence cannot be based simply on an allegation that some provision has been made in the Will albeit small.

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