Contentious Probate - Contesting A Will

"From when we first met Wheelers we felt in capable hands"

Disputes over Wills, trusts or probate matters are rapidly increasing due to the growing complexity of modern day families. Rises in the divorce rate, and/or the proportion of children born to unmarried couples and the increasing prevalence of families with step children have all contributed to this unfortunate development.  It is becoming more common for Wills to be contested and for confusion to arise as to which party is entitled to what.

We have the experience and expertise to advise and (if necessary) represent you on any contentious probate issues or disputes that might arise including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975
  • The validity of a Will;
  • Challenges over lack of mental capacity;
  • Disputes with Executors;
  • Disputes between Trustees and Beneficiaries;
  • Caveats, Warnings & Appearances; and
  • Court of Protection Issues.

We appreciate that these disputes tend to arise at particularly distressing times and more often than not involve disputes within the family unit.  Not only do we offer the legal expertise to advise on these complex areas of law, we will also deal with your dispute in a sympathetic way but pragmatic way.  Where possible we will always actively encourage disputes to be resolved by negotiation or mediation.

If you would like further information, please contact Emma Clist or Jonathan Jacobs at our Ash Vale office. Emma Clist is an associate member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

What our contentious probate lawyers can do for you

Contesting the validity of a Will

Contesting a Will can be a confusing and complex process. Our specialist contentious probate lawyers can provide advice on all reasons for challenging the validity of a Will including:

  • It was not properly executed.
  • The deceased was coerced or placed under undue influence.
  • The deceased did not understand the content of the Will.
  • The Will was forged or executed fraudulently.
  • The deceased did not have sufficient mental capacity to make the Will.

Caveats, Warnings, and Appearances

If a person decides to challenge the validity of a Will, they may need to file a Caveat to prevent the Executors of the estate administering and distributing the estate before they can submit their case.

We can advise on:

  • Caveats – to prevent Executors from administering or gaining permission to administer the estate.
  • Warnings – a challenge to the Caveat by another interested party.
  • Appearances – the response to the Warning defending the original Caveat.

Claims for financial provision from a person’s estate

We can assist you with claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 if you are a certain family member or dependent of the deceased and you are concerned that:

  • You were left out of a Will;
  • You didn’t inherit as much as you need; or
  • You didn’t inherit because there was no Will.

Disputes with Executors

If you are worried about the actions of an Executor/Administrator of a loved one’s estate, or you are an Executor facing legal challenge, we can provide clear, practical advice which is specifically tailored to your individual situation.

In many circumstances, disputes involving Executors can be resolved through discussion and negotiation. However, if it becomes necessary to go to court, we can provide advice and representation throughout the process.

Here are some of the Executor disputes we can help with:

  • Disputes about the way an Executor/Administrator is administering an estate..
  • Removing or replacing an Executor/Administrator.
  • Claims against an Executor/Administrator for breaches of duty.

Disputes between Trustees and Beneficiaries

Sometimes, a deceased might use their Will to create a trust. Under a Will trust, appointed Trustees will hold money and property for the benefit of one or more Beneficiaries, usually until a future date or event.

Due to the nature of trusts, disagreements between Trustees and Beneficiaries are common. We can help you with all disputes involving Trustees and Beneficiaries, including:

  • Claims against Trustees.
  • Removing or replacing Trustees.
  • Claiming against a trust for money you are owed.

Court of Protection issues

In unfortunate circumstances, a loved one may lose the ability to make their own decisions about their welfare and finances and become unable to make a Will, perhaps due to illness or injury.

In these situations, we can advise you on applying to the Court of Protection to make or change a Statutory Will on behalf of your loved one.

Our experienced lawyers can provide advice in relation to all Court of Protection matters and disputes, including:

  • Applications and disputes involving Statutory Wills.
  • Disputes involving Deputies or Attorneys.

Why choose Wheelers for your contentious probate matter?

At Wheelers, we understand how emotionally demanding it can be to deal with a loved one’s Will or raise a dispute about how a Will is being dealt with.

Our contentious probate solicitors have the skills to help with your issue or dispute in a compassionate but practical way. Our team is comprised of experts in their areas Emma Clist is an associate member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

We are highly experienced in methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation and negotiation, and we aim to save you time, costs, and stress by settling your matter out of court wherever possible.

Where it becomes necessary to attend court, our team includes litigation specialists, such as Emma Clist, to support you with advice and representation every step of the way.

Wheelers LLP is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Contact our contentious probate lawyers in Ash Vale today

Get in touch with our solicitors in Ash Vale to discuss your contentious probate issue by contacting Emma Clist on 01252 367533 or Jonathan Jacobs on 01252 367536, or by completing the enquiry form to the right.