When there is a dispute involving inheritance and the validity of a Will in the UK, it is classed as Contentious Probate. Legal issues amongst families and friends can be distressing. Contesting a Will can be difficult and emotional for all involved after a loved one has passed away. The dispute can be lengthy and extremely damaging for the family members involved if they are not handled sensitively. It’s vital to get specialist legal advice early on, that is where our expertise and experience counts.
A Dispute can emerge from various factors. For example, you feel that the Will did not leave you what you deserved or were promised. You may even have concerns regarding the way in which the Will was made.
Disputes can also arise when trusts have been set up, but have not been administered properly.
There are four principal reasons why a will may be able to be successfully overturned:
Execution of a Will
The Will has been improperly executed. You can contest a Will either because the process of making the Will failed to comply with the law or there were other issues sufficient to prove the Will is invalid.
Inheritance Act 1975
The Will makes inadequate provision. The main piece of legislation for contentious probate is the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. It allows a claim for financial provision to be made by a dependant of the deceased. If the claim is that the Will did not make sufficient provision, then the Act sets out who can claim and what they might reasonably expect to receive after a loved one has passed away. This must normally be brought within six months of the grant of probate or letters of administration of the estate
Mental Capacity & Undue Influence
The testator does not have ‘legal mental capacity’. If the deceased did not fully understand the meaning and effect of what was contained in the Will, for example they had dementia.The deceased or testator must have been ‘of sound mind’ in order to create a valid Will.
The Will was made under undue influence, that someone had sufficient influence over the deceased to the extent that they cannot freely exercise their independent will.
Our specialist Contentious Probate team can also represent you on the following:
- Removal of executors
- Removal of Caveats
- Applications to the Court of Protection regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Statutory Wills
The Cost of Dealing With Will Disputes
We understand that you may not be in a position to fully fund a case from the outset. We strongly believe that you should have access to justice; this is why we try to help clients with fees wherever possible. So we will always consider your funding options with you and help wherever we can. Where you have a strong case we may be able to agree a conditional (no win no fee) agreement where appropriate. In other cases, such as where there is a property that will be sold, we can agree to defer our fees until the end of the case.You may also have insurance; we will investigate this with you at the outset and can deal with your insurance company on your behalf and advise on the best option for you based on your circumstances.
Free Contentious Probate Enquiry
All initial enquiries are completely free of charge, so please call us now on 0161 5050635 or complete a free online enquiry form and a member of the Contentious Probate team will contact you on the number and time provided
- 0161 5050635