Will, Trust & Estate Disputes
A disagreement of a deceased person’s estate can take varied forms, whether it is executors failing to administer the estate properly, inheritance disputes, questioning the validity of a will or querying the value of the estate.
Our team has specialist experience in dealing with all types of disputes, both in England and Wales and internationally. We act for beneficiaries, executors and trustees - including individuals, trust companies and other organisations such as charities.
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Contesting a Will
You can contest a Will if you believe:
- it was not executed (signed) properly
- it is a forgery
- the person who made the Will was pressured by someone else to make or change a Will
- the person who made the Will lacked the mental capacity to do so at the time
If the Will is found to be invalid then the previous valid Will would take effect or if there isn’t one the estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.
Inheritance Act Claims
If you have been cut out of an inheritance or are unhappy with your inheritance we can advise on your prospects of bringing a successful claim for a greater share of the estate.
There is a strict time limit of six months from the date of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to bring a claim, so we recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible about whether there is any merit in bringing such a claim.
Certain categories of people can bring a claim against an estate where ‘reasonable financial provision’ has not been made for them either under a Will or intestacy. The categories of potential claimants include:
- a spouse or civil partner
- a former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership
- a child of the deceased (including an adult child)
- anyone treated by the deceased as their child, such as a step child
- anyone who, for the two years immediately before the death of the deceased was living with the deceased as husband and wife
- or anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased immediately prior to the deceased’s death
A number of factors will be considered to determine whether ‘reasonable financial provision’ has been made and if not, what provision should be made.
Statutory Will disputes
A statutory Will is where an application is submitted to the Court of Protection to make (or change) a will on behalf of someone who cannot do it themselves.
If you have been notified that a statutory Will application has been made, it is because you are considered to be "materially affected" by a proposed Will or change to a Will. It may be, for instance, that your share of the estate is proposed to be reduced or you have been omitted entirely. If you disagree with the Will or the changes being proposed, you should seek advice from a solicitor specialising in Court of Protection matters in order to challenge it as soon as possible, as there are time limits involved.
Latest Blog Posts
An ex-spouse does not by right have an automatic entitlement to make a claim agaisnt the estate. However, if the ex-spouse can show they were dependent on the deceased - perhaps because they were receiving...
If you are applying for a grant of probate and are informed that it cannot be issued because someone has entered a caveat you can take steps to try and have it removed. Until the caveat is removed you...
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