Coronation Street's Inheritance Secret


Coronation Street fans will no doubt be aware of the ongoing storyline regarding a recently discovered Will of Archie Shuttleworth (played by the late Roy Hudd).

In 2018, Archie's son, George Shuttleworth (played by Tony Maudsley), had been left his father's undertakers' business following his father's death.

George worked in the business on the understanding that Independent Funeral Services would be left to him.

However, Archie's Will was recently discovered by the ever-troubled Todd Grimshaw (played by Gareth Pearce).

In this version of Archie's Will, it stated that 50% of the funeral business should have been left to George's sister, Glenda Shuttleworth (played by Jodie Prenger), six years ago.

Todd considered keeping his find a secret, knowing that he was set to inherit the business himself one day, but eventually, George discovered the contents of the Will, causing him to worry that his sister would not receive her inheritance. 

Aware of his sister's lack of responsibility where money is concerned, George considered it a big risk to have his sister on board and own part of the family business. 

Todd mistakenly informs Glenda about her late father's Will, causing her to take advice from a solicitor.

The story continues, but if you feel you have been left out of an inheritance, it's crucial to act swiftly.

Questions commonly arise, which our Contentious Probate Solicitors have set out below.

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Coronation Streets Inheritance Secret

Am I entitled to a copy of a Will?

A Will is a private document, and nobody, including a beneficiary, has a legal right to see a copy of the Deceased's Will other than the Executors.

However, once probate has been obtained by the Executors, the Will becomes a public document and can be downloaded from the Government website (search probate records) for a small fee.

Who can contest a Will?

Not everyone can bring a claim.

A claimant must either be entitled under the deceased's estate through the intestacy rules or under a previous Will.  

A person making a Will has the right of testamentary freedom, which means that they can leave their estate to whom they choose.

They are not obliged to leave anything to their family, so a challenge should be discussed with a solicitor.  

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Am I entitled to a copy of a Will

Is the Will valid?

To be a valid Will, it must: 

  • Be in writing.
  • It must be signed by the person making the Will. 
  • The signature must be made before two witnesses, and they (the witnesses) must be present at the same time.
  • Or the person making the Will signs it without any witnesses but later acknowledges their signature in front of two witnesses present at the same time
  • Each witness signs the Will or acknowledges their signature in the presence of the testator

A witness does not need to know they are witnessing a Will.

A Will will still be valid even if it is not dated.

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Is the Will valid

What can I do if I have concerns about a Will made in England and Wales?

A Will can only be challenged if there are grounds to do so.

The grounds are: 

  • If the person making the Will did not have the capacity to do so or did not understand or approve it.  
  • If the person making the Will was unduly influenced or coerced to make it. 
  • If the Will was made due to duress, fraud or forgery.
  • If the Will has not been executed correctly.

Contesting a Will can be difficult and complex. 

Evidence is needed to support the grounds, and it is important to gather this as soon as possible.

What can I do if I have concerns about a Will made in England and Wales

At the outset it is important to know who holds the deceased's original Will.

This is crucial as only the signed original will be accepted by the Probate Registry in all but rare cases. It is also important because the original may need to be examined. 

Many Wills are stored with solicitors, banks or with other personal and important items but enquires should be made. 

Contentious probate claims can be made if you wish to challenge the validity of a Will or if there is a dispute over how the estate is administered. 

Certain categories of people who were provided for by the testator before their death can claim for "reasonable provision" under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 if they are left out of a Will or not left as much as they need. 

Our Contentious Probate solicitors are one of the largest Contentious Probate teams in the UK, they will always have a free 30-minute conversation with youwithout obligation.

Sometimes, we can pursue a contentious probate claim for you on a no win no fee basis. 

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If you have any queries concerning a Will or inheritance dispute, please contact Myerson Solicitors' Contentious Probate lawyers on: