Wills & Estate Disputes
Our dispute resolution team specialize in both bringing and defending disputes over a Will and/or Inheritance from a deceased’s Estate.
If you’ve been left out of a Will, haven’t been left as much as you need, or think the Will is wrong in some way, you might want to contest it or make a claim.
What can you dispute or claim?
Typically, a Will/Trust or Inheritance dispute will be one or more of the following:
- Challenge to the validity of a Will
- Claims for dependents for reasonable financial provision from an Estate
- Financial abuse of the deceased by a solicitor and/or Executor
- Incorrect administration and distribution of an Estate
- Applications to remove or substitute Executors or Trustees
- The Will is wrongly drafted giving rise to professional negligence claims against a solicitor or Will drafter
- Claim against or between trustees/executors or personal representatives
- Interpretation of the terms of a Will or Trust
What are the grounds for contesting a Will?
There are generally two bases for contesting a Will:
Either the Will itself is invalid, because:
- The person who has died did not have sufficient mental capacity at the time the Will was drawn up
- The person did not understand or was not fully aware of the content of the Will
- Someone else interfered with the creation of the Will, meaning they exerted undue influence
- The will is a forgery or is fraudulent
- The will has not been executed properly, meaning the Will has not been signed and witnessed properly
Or it fails to make ‘reasonable financial provision’ under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 for a family member or someone who was financially maintained before their death, including:
- spouses or civil partners;
- cohabitants of two or more years immediately prior to death;
- children; and
- people who can show they were being supported financially by the person.
Who can challenge a Will?
Anyone can challenge the validity of a Will. It’s important to note that, in these circumstances, the Estate will normally be distributed in line with the most recent, previous valid version of the Will. If your challenge to the validity of the Will is upheld, and you were not on the most recent, previous valid Will, then it’s unlikely you’ll get anything from the Estate, unless you have a claim for reasonable financial provision. If there is no valid previous Will, then the Estate will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy.
How long do I have to contest a Will?
As a general guide, if you are submitting a claim under the Inheritance Act, the time limit is 6 months from the date of probate being granted. There is no time limit for contesting a Will on the grounds of fraud. The court can overrule these but only in exceptional circumstances.
Time limits to challenge a Will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. However, in any dispute over a Will, the sooner you act the better.
We are happy to discuss funding arrangements with you, which can include:
- No-win-no-fee/Conditional Fee Agreements
- Deferred fees
- Specialized lending
- Litigation funding
How we can help you
- We can assess early on your chances of a successful contested probate case
- Our specialist professional negligence solicitors can advise you on making a claim against a solicitor or Will writer for negligence in Will drafting
- We offer FREE initial phone advice for contested probate
- Our Will solicitors can handle your case wherever you live in the UK.
- They can take your instructions by email and phone without needing to meet you – or can see you in one of our 2 offices in Hampshire
Our solicitors represent clients nationwide in contesting Wills – especially in the South East.
Our qualified litigation solicitors have a wealth of experience:
- Ryan Duncan
- Andrew Wisniewski
So, wherever you live in the UK, for clear and practical legal advice on bringing or defending a Will or Inheritance dispute, please contact us at any time for FREE initial advice:
- Local line number 023 9267 5555 or out of hours freephone number 0800 083 6499.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- use the contact form below: