Contentious Probate

At Forbes Solicitors, our contentious probate solicitors can assist you in resolving disputes that arise during the probate process.

More about Contentious Probate

The death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional time, and disputes over their estate can add further stress and uncertainty. Our experienced contentious probate solicitors have the knowledge and expertise to handle complex and sensitive cases, and we always strive to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

What is Contentious Probate?

What is Contentious Probate?

Contentious probate means any dispute about how a person's money, property or other possessions is passed on to other people after they die. It includes a claim to challenge the validity of a Will, a claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and disputes about how an estate in being managed by the person(s) appointed to do so.

Contentious Probate is a term to describe disputes relating to Wills and Estates. Contentious Probate does not include claims under the Inheritance Act.

Claims that fall within contentious probate include claims to challenge the validity of a Will. The grounds to challenge the validity of a Will are set out in detail here and include:

  • Lack of proper execution. If the Will is not executed in accordance with section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, then it is not valid.

  • Lack of mental capacity. If the person making the Will, the testator, did not have the required mental capacity at the time the Will instructions were taken and Will executed, then the Will is invalid.

  • Lack of knowledge and approval of the terms of the Will. If the testator did not understand the terms of the Will, for example if the Will was in English and English was not their first language, then the Will is invalid.

  • Fraud and forgery. If the Will was forged then it is not valid.

If you suspect a Will is invalid then the first step is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the drafting of a Will. A Larke v Nugus request can be made to the solicitor who drafted the Will for example, and medical records can be obtained.

It is important that Estate assets are protected and so we would usually advise you obtain a caveat to stop a Grant of Probate being issued and to protect the large assets of the Estate.

If an executor is refusing to obtain Grant and administer the Estate then you may be able to apply for a citation to force them to take out the Grant of Probate.

In some cases an original Will or codicil may be in the possession of a person who will not release it, and therefore preventing the administration of the Estate. In these cases it is possible to apply under section 123 of section 122 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 for a subpoena. The effect of this is to either require a person to file the will at the Probate Registry or to attend court for examination as to their knowledge of the document.

Why choose our contentious probate solicitors?

Why choose our contentious probate solicitors?

At Forbes Solicitors our contentious probate solicitors are dedicated to providing exceptional legal services to our clients. With years of experience in handling complex probate disputes, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate through the legal process. We understand that probate disputes can be emotionally draining and stressful, which is why we offer a compassionate and supportive approach to our clients. Our team is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you, and we will work tirelessly to protect your interests. We can offer a range of price and payment options and are transparent on costs. Choose us for a reliable and effective legal representation.

Who do our contentious probate solicitors help?

Who do our contentious probate solicitors help?

Our contentious probate solicitors help individuals and families who are involved in disputes over the distribution of a deceased person's estate, including issues related to Wills, estates and trusts. We act for claimants or defendants as trustees, beneficiaries or third parties.

How can our contentious probate lawyers help?

How can our contentious probate lawyers help?

Our contentious probate lawyers can help you resolve disputes related to Wills, trusts, and estates. We have extensive experience in handling complex and sensitive cases involving inheritance disputes, contested Wills, and claims against estates. Our team of lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice and representation to help you achieve a fair and satisfactory outcome. We understand that these disputes can be emotionally charged and stressful, and we are committed to providing you with compassionate and personalised support throughout the process.

If you have any questions about grounds for contesting a Will or require advice about any aspect of Wills and probate, get in touch. Call us today on 0800 689 3607.

Contentious Probate FAQs

How do you deal with contentious probate?

Contentious probate can be dealt with by seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in probate disputes. The solicitor can help to provide advice on the legal position, negotiate a settlement or represent the client in court proceedings. It is important to gather evidence and documentation to support the case and to act quickly.

Why would probate be contested?

Probate may be contested if there are disputes over the validity of the Will, the distribution of assets, or the appointment of the Executor. Other reasons may include allegations of fraud, undue influence, or lack of testamentary capacity of the deceased at the time of making the Will. Contesting Probate can be a complex legal process and may require the involvement of solicitors and the courts.

What happens if someone contests a Will after probate?

If someone contests a Will after Probate has been granted, they can still challenge the validity of the Will. The person contesting the Will must apply for a court order to revoke the Grant of Probate and prove that the Will is invalid. This means the estate would be administered and distributed in line with the intestacy rules or a previous valid Will.

Who can contest probate?

Anyone who could benefit from the claim or has a legitimate interest in the estate of the deceased can contest Probate.

On what grounds can a probate be contested?

A Probate can be contested on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity of the deceased, undue influence, fraud, improper execution of the Will, and the existence of a more recent Will. Additionally, if the Will is ambiguous or unclear, it may also be contested.

How long does the contentious probate process take?

The length of the contentious probate process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and how the parties to the dispute act. It can take several months to several years to resolve. There is no set timeframe for the process.

What are the potential outcomes of a contentious probate case?

The potential outcomes of a contentious probate case include an order to uphold or dispute the validity of Will, for directions on the administration or distribution of an estate, for the appointment or removal of a personal representative, or for financial provision to be awarded to a claimant.

Our dedicated Contesting a Will team

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Partner, Contesting a Will

John Lambe

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Partner, Contesting a Will

Tom Howcroft

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Senior Associate, Contesting a Will

Rebecca Beaumont

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