Will Disputes & Contentious Probate Solicitors
Contesting a Will
Disputes surrounding a deceased person’s Will or Estate can arise in a number of ways. Most commonly, someone will claim that a Will is either not valid or not fair. Also, any person who is not expressly mentioned in the Will, or a previous Will, can question their lack of inheritance.
Our trusted team of solicitors have years of experience in Will Disputes and Contentious Probate. We are on hand to offer the support and advice you need, whether you are bringing or defending a probate dispute claim.
We understand how difficult this time can be. A member of our team will be happy to talk through your specific situation, to give you clarity and let you know where you stand, please give our team a call to discuss your options.
Or please complete our enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as they can:
Types of Will Disputes
Will disputes are complex matters. There are many different circumstances surrounding Will Disputes and Contentious Trusts and Probate. Our committed team can assist you, however a Will Dispute has arisen. We frequently deal with the following:
There are a number of reasons why a Will may be found to be invalid. Often someone is claiming their loved one did not have the Mental Capacity to make a Will. One must be of sound mind when creating and signing a Will. If you can prove that the deceased did not understand the full extent of their estate, possessions and beneficiaries, you can dispute their Will.
You can query a Will if you can prove that the deceased was unduly influenced or manipulated when creating their Will. Of course, claims for undue influence require a high standard of evidence which can be difficult to gather when a long time has passed.
Fraud or falsified records
If you have valid grounds to suggest that a Will has been forged, you can object to it or apply to have it overturned. Remember, there is no time limit for disputing a Will that has been fraudulently submitted to benefit the wrong person(s).
Our solicitors can support you on both sides of these arguments. With our sensitive approach, we have experience successfully proving and disproving challenges to the validity of Wills.
Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, allow people to claim if they were not named in a Will. In these situations, it is possible for certain people to make a claim for financial provision. There are many reasons why someone may not have benefited from the deceased’s estate; but we can help you if you believe you should have.
We frequently act for people making these claims under the Inheritance Act.
Similarly, our solicitors can also defend your loved one’s Will, acting on behalf of named beneficiaries of the estate and the executors
When a person dies and leaves a Will, Executors will be appointed to Administer their Estate. Where there is no Will, intestacy rules state that one or more people who were close to the deceased can assume the role of administrator. Problems may occur if the Executors or Administrators do not cooperate or refuse to carry out their duties.
There may be a Will Dispute if the executors disagree or abuse their role in some way.
We understand that it is very important that a loved one’s wishes are fulfilled. In these dispute situations, we handle the matter carefully, to ensure the estate is not left un-administered.
We can support you in resolving the issue quickly and in the best way.
How to Contest a Will
Lodge a dispute as soon as possible.
If you have cause for disputing a Will, it’s important to seek legal advice quickly. There are strict time limits for contesting a Will, depending on the circumstance. In some cases, you will have just six months to settle your case before the estate can be distributed. Therefore, it’s important to confirm whether or not you have a claim.
Submit a formal caveat to the Probate Registry office.
After you have spoken to a Will Dispute solicitor, you must submit a formal claim, known as a ‘caveat’. This suspends the probate period for six months, during which time none of the estate may be distributed. If your dispute is still ongoing after six months, you can renew your caveat where applicable.
Resolve your dispute or escalate your claim to court.
Most Will Disputes are resolved through mediation or alternative dispute resolution. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, you may submit a formal court claim to pursue court proceedings.
Estate disputes can vary in complexity and length depending on the circumstances. We can guide you through the process of contesting a Will, whether you’re disputing, or defending your loved one’s Will.
How long do I have to contest a Will?
There are different time limits in place depending on the grounds to contest a Will.
- If you are a beneficiary making a claim against the Will, you must act within 12 years of the date of death. Whereas claims that a Will is fraudulent have no time limit at all.
- If you are making a claim for maintenance under the Inheritance Act on the basis you were left out of the will, you must bring your dispute within six months of the grant of probate.
Grounds for Disputing a Will after Probate
It is possible to dispute a Will after probate has been granted. However, it is easier to make a successful claim before probate is complete.
Get Advice from our Will Dispute Solicitors
If you or your family have encountered problems with the Will, Trust or Estate of a loved one, we want to support you through this difficult time.
Get in touch with a member of our team on 0151 282 1700 to discuss your personal situation and we will work hard to find the best solution for you.
Will see you through:
Additional resources you may find useful:
- Inheritance disputes and contesting a Will
- Settling a dispute over a loved one's funeral arrangements