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Will Disputes & Contentious Probate

Contentious Probate: Helping to resolve disputes about Wills swiftly and sympathetically

There are many situations in which will disputes can arise, such as insufficient provision being made for dependents or a fear that the person making the will may have been coerced. Whatever the situation, a disputed will can often add distress to what is already a difficult time for relatives.

Talking to a solicitor with specialist knowledge in this area can make all the difference. We provide a comprehensive service to both relatives of the deceased and to personal representatives, helping them to raise valid claims and defend claims that are unreasonable.

We will aim to resolve your dispute as cost effectively as possible and will handle all communications and negotiations between the parties to resolve the dispute. 

Common will dispute issues: 

  • You feel you have been left out of a will unfairly
  • You feel there is something strange about a will or are concerned that a will may not be valid because the testator was not of sound mind or was put under pressure to sign
  • The deceased died without leaving a will and you have received little or nothing from the estate
  • The executors are delaying the administration of the estate
  • A claim been made against an estate that you are administering 

How we help you 

  • We are experienced at working with complex family relationships, particularly where the deceased remarried and had children and stepchildren from these relationships.
  • We favour mediation as a cost effective route to resolve a will dispute, rather than opting for court proceeding straight away. Mediation has the benefit of tending to be cheaper, quicker and less stressful than litigation. Mediation also gives family members an excellent opportunity to discuss and resolve any longstanding grievances.
  • We may be able to offer a range of funding options for your claim. One of your existing insurance policies may even include legal expenses cover for resolving problems relating to wills. 

It’s good to bear in mind... 

  • There is a six-month time limit for bringing certain probate claims, so contact us as soon as possible if you are concerned or upset about a situation.
  • In the UK, ‘probate’ is the legal authority by which someone can divide up a deceased’s assets according to their will or under the intestacy rules (which apply where there is a no valid will). Once probate has been granted, both the grant and the will become public documents that can be obtained for a small fee.
  • You can also find out whether the deceased left a will by contacting the Probate Registry, which can carry out a search.
  • If you feel there is something strange about the will or have concerns about whether a will is valid, you can enter a ‘caveat’ for a court fee of £20. This prevents someone else from obtaining a grant of probate without you first being given the chance to object.
Will Disputes & Contested Probate Team
Tom Lawrence
Tom Lawrence
Partner

Clare Mackay
Clare Mackay
Associate

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Clare managed to give me this great confidence and trust that really brought closure to my case.
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