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Services for Individuals

Contested Probate

At Fieldings Porter Solicitors we appreciate that when seeking advice for this type of matter it is often at a very distressing time. Many people find it very difficult to make any provision for their death and simply express their wishes to family hoping that these will be carried out. But not only do we leave family and friends behind, we also leave possessions, some of which can be valuable.

At Fieldings Porter we have experience that even if a Will is made, all may not be as it appears, which can result in a family being torn apart by the contents of a Will. It may be that relatives are excluded with no reason, relatives may exist that are not known about and not included, and a Will may be so old that it no longer reflects changes within the family dynamics. 

Families may disagree with specific legacies being given and all manner of rifts can be created with accusations over the validity and the circumstances surrounding the Will leading to it being contested.

Legally wills can be challenged on four grounds:

  • Not being properly executed (i.e. signed and witnessed)
  • The Testator/Testatrix lacked capacity
  • Undue Influence (i.e. not being made freely)
  • Want of knowledge or approval (i.e. that the Testator/Testatrix did not understand what they were doing or its effect)

If none of these grounds apply and a party has been excluded from a Will, which has resulted in them suffering financially, or has been excluded as they were not known about at the time of the Will or even if they were included but the bequest made was not adequate then a claim against the Estate may be possible under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.  However, strict time limits of 6 months apply to these type of claims from the date that the Will is proved (i.e. that a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration) have been issued.

Intestacy Rules

When someone dies in the absence of a will, then they are deemed to have died intestate and as such there are rules about the distribution of the Estate. There may be circumstances where one person believes that they have a right to the Estate in preference to someone else, and a claim under the Inheritance Act can still be brought.

In whichever situation, it is essential that the appropriate advice is obtained as soon as possible so the position can be considered fully.

There may be additional problems that arise in the progression of the administration of an estate which justify the removal and substitution of Personal Representatives and Executors and we can help in this.

Our litigation solicitors can assist and obtain appropriate advice in respect of:-

  • Contesting and Challenging a Will
  • Removal and appointment of Personal Representatives and Executors
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975
  • Entering Caveats and searches of the Probate Registry

Your first consultation will usually be offered under our Discounted Fixed Fee First Interview Scheme (see above).  This is a cost effective way of obtaining legal advice in a face to face appointment in what is becoming a more common area for dispute between family members who often take the role of executor as well as beneficiary along with others. It is far from straightforward and can become an expensive process. You need to ensure that you are advised by an expert who can also tactfully deal with sensitivities surrounding such cases. Contact our Emma Savage to help you.

 

Call 01204 540999 and speak to a legally qualified member of our team who can deal with your enquiry straight away.

Contact our Litigation team now!