What our clients say…
Sharon has advised our family now for around 3 years and has always provided excellent service.Wills & Probate Client
Listened to what I wanted and was very helpful.Wills & Probate Client
Louise Davis conducted our business in a most efficient manner and explained everything so that even lay people like ourselves understood.Wills & Probate Client
Excellent, uncomplicated service.Wills & Probate Client
Speak to Sharon Woodward about Wills & Probate
Have you been left out of a will? Are you concerned that Mum’s money hasn’t been dealt with properly? Has your partner died without providing for you?
If you think that the way a person’s estate is being distributed is unfair, whether a will exists or not, you may be able to raise a legal challenge to put things right using the help of a Contested Probate Solicitor.
Contested Probate is the area of law that involves challenges to wills or disputes over the distribution of the assets, property and possessions (the ‘estate’) of someone who has died.
We understand that disputes over wills or the administration of estates often happen during what can be a particularly difficult and sensitive time. As specialist Contested Probate Solicitors we are able to use our extensive experience to provide you with expert legal support throughout your case. For advice on your Contested Probate case call Solicitor Bernadette Duffy on 01924 882000 or send our Wills team a message using the contact form below.
How can we help?
As growing numbers of people are becoming aware of the legal issues around inheritance, disputes over how different parties should benefit from a person’s estate and the way an estate is administered are becoming increasingly common. Our aim is to resolve disputes speedily, cost effectively and where possible without the involvement of the courts.
We regularly act on behalf of people involved in disputes or legal proceeding, whether you are seeking to challenge a will yourself, or you are a defending someone else’s challenge. We represent:
- Executors – the person(s) appointed to deal with the administration of an estate
- Trustees – the person(s) appointed to manage and invest assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries
- Beneficiaries – the person(s) named in a will or trust who would benefit from the assets, property and possessions of the person who wrote the will or set up the trust
- Individuals who believe they have a claim to someone’s estate who do not fall into one of the above categories
We can assist with all aspects of contested probate and inheritance disputes, including:
- contesting a will
- responding to a will dispute
- disputes relating to trusts
- disputes relating to the administration of an estate
- making a claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975
Disputes about Wills
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of writing a will to ensure that when you are gone your loved ones are looked after according to your wishes. However, even when a person has written a will disputes can arise about the will’s validity, for example, if it is believed that the will is fraudulent or was written by someone who lacked mental capacity.
In certain circumstances it may be possible to challenge the validity of a will. The usual grounds for doing so are:
- The will was made under duress i.e. the individual who wrote the will, known as the testator, was made to do so by another person.
- The testator did not have sufficient mental capacity to make the will. We are often involved in cases where wills have been changed close to death and there are concerns that the testator had dementia.
- There is a technical defect with the will, for example, it had not been signed or witnessed properly.
- The testator did not have knowledge of or approve the will. For a will to be valid the person making the will must understand the nature of the will and the property which he/she was disposing of.
- The will is fraudulent. Typically fraud wills arise in the following circumstances:
- When the original will may have been deliberately destroyed
- The signature on the will is not that of the testator
- The deceased was tricked into signing the document not knowing it was a will
If you are concerned about the validity of someone’s will, you can contact a specialist solicitor who will advise you on whether the will is valid and on your next steps. To arrange a free half hour consultation on your case please contact the Wills & Probate team on 01924 882000.
Whether the deceased has made a will or dies intestate the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain categories of person to make a claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’. The Act allows a Court to adjust the distribution of an estate.To make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 you need to fall into one of the one of the categories listed below:
- A spouse or civil partner of the deceased
- A former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or formed another civil partnership
- A person who was cohabiting with the deceased as his spouse or civil partner 2 years prior to death
- A child of the deceased
- Any person other than those mentioned above who was being maintained by the deceased prior to death
Our Contested Probate team can advise you on whether you may be entitled to make a claim against an estate for financial maintenance or can advise you if a claim is made against an estate.
Disputes about the Administration of an Estate
Acting as an Executor or personal representative of an estate brings with it strict legal obligations as the Grant of Representation permits that person to collect and safeguard assets, pay off the deceased’s debts and distribute the estate to its beneficiaries correctly.Disputes with Executors, Administrators and Trustees often involve allegations of failing to keep proper accounts and records, misappropriation of funds and delay. Under such circumstances it may be possible to apply to the Court for direction as to how to act to remove that person from having an involvement in the administration of the estate.
Contact the Contested Probate Team
We are always happy to talk to you about your case on an informal basis and offer a free half hour consultation on your case. Call specialist Contested Probate Solicitor Bernadette Duffy on 01924 882000 or send her a message using the contact form below.
What our clients say…
Sharon has advised our family now for around 3 years and has always provided excellent service.Wills & Trusts Client
Listened to what I wanted and was very helpful.Wills & Trusts Client