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Contentious Probate and Disputed Wills
Disputes after the death of a loved one can be painful and complex, often causing conflicts between those left behind. To help you through this difficult time, we are on hand to advise and support you, providing advice with sensitivity and understanding.
Our team are dedicated to giving you clear advice on how best to proceed with a dispute regarding the distribution or administration of a deceased person’s estate including:
- Concerns about the way in which the Will was made and its validity
- Challenging the way an estate is being dealt with
- Helping with concerns about the administration process
- Disputes over the ownership of property
- Incorrect administration and distribution of estate
- Disputes between executors, trustees or beneficiaries
- Claiming financial provision (claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975)
Are there time limits for contesting a Will?
The time limits for contesting a will are dependent upon the individual circumstances of the claim.
As a general guide if you submit a claim under the Inheritance Act, the time limit is 6 months from the date of probate being granted. However, for a beneficiary making a claim against an estate, the time limit will be 12 years from the date of the death. No time limit applies for contesting a Will on the ground of fraud. The court is able to overrule these limitations, but only in exceptional circumstances.
In any circumstance regarding a disputed Will, the sooner you act and seek legal advice generally the better.
How do I contest a Will?
A Will can be contested if you believe the Will to be invalid or made under circumstances that would deem it invalid. We can provide advice in relation to the following grounds for challenging the validity of a Will:
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Undue influence and coercion
- Lack of knowledge and approval
- Forgery and fraud
- Non compliance with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837
Who can contest a Will?
The following people can contest a Will:
- Family members
- Persons who were financially dependent upon the deceased
- A beneficiary of the Will
- A creditor of the deceased
- Persons who were promised something by the deceased
What if no Will was made?
If the deceased did not make a Will, their estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. If you are a spouse, former spouse, child, child of the family or a dependent of the deceased and feel that reasonable financial provision is not made for you under these rules, you may have a claim for increased financial provision under the Inheritance Act 1975.
We can provide you with advice, assessing the strength of a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 and guiding you through this process.
How do I create a legal Will?
Visit Writing A Will to find out more about how you can create a Will with Tinsdills Solicitors.