Contentious Wills Solicitors

At Forbes Solicitors, our contentious Wills solicitors understand that disputes over Wills can be emotionally challenging and complex, and we are here to offer guidance and support throughout the process.

More about our contentious Wills Solicitors

A Contentious Will is one whose validity is challenged because it was not created in compliance with the legal formalities, it does not say what the deceased wanted, the deceased did not have the mental capacity to make the Will, or they were coerced into making the Will. A Will can also be challenged on grounds that it is a forgery.

Disputes can also arise because of an argument about the correct interpretation of the words used in the Will. A Will can also be contentious because it does not make financial provision for someone and they would like provision to be made for them out of the estate of the deceased.

The experience of losing a loved one is always a sad and upsetting time. The stress and emotions felt when dealing with grief and loss is very difficult and this can be made even worse if it turns out that the person you cared about has left a Will that doesn't make sense to you or seems unfair.

It might be that you were expecting to be included in the Will and were not, or it could be that the terms of the Will don't quite add up to what you understand were the wishes of your loved one before they passed away.

As highly experienced contentious Wills solicitors, with a proven track record of successful outcomes when challenging contentious Wills, Probate and Trusts, our team can help you to find a legal resolution to the issue. There are specific grounds on which a Will can be challenged legally, and we will be able to help determine if any of them apply in your case.

If you believe that a Will does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased, or if there are concerns about the validity of a Will, our contentious Wills solicitors can help. Get in touch with our team today for more information if you're looking for expert contentious Wills solicitors. Call us on 0800 689 3607.

What is a Contentious Will?

What is a Contentious Will?

A Will can be considered to be contentious if there is a dispute over the validity of the Will itself, after the person in question has passed away. There are a number of different reasons why a dispute may arise over a Will, which include:

  • When someone who believes they should have been included in the Will, is not

  • When someone believes they were promised a specific inheritance in the Will and this now appears not to be the case

  • When someone believes that the deceased person was forced or coerced into changing their Will before they died by a person with undue influence

  • When someone believes that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to write or change the Will at the time that they did so

  • When someone believes that there may be forgery or fraud involved in the Will

  • When someone believes that the Will may not be valid in the eyes of the law.

What to do if you think that a loved one's Will is contentious

What to do if you think that a loved one's Will is contentious

Raising your concerns about the Will of a loved one can be a very difficult thing to do. Often, the dispute will be with someone that you know, perhaps even a member of your family, and the days, weeks and months after someone's death are already hard to deal with. It's not a decision that many take lightly, but in the case that the Will appears to be unfair or unexpected, it might be something that you want to challenge.

However, if you do believe that there is something not quite right about the Will and its contents, speaking to an experienced contentious Wills solicitor can help you to find out if there might be a legal basis on which to challenge the Will and can talk you through the process to do so. This means that you'll be able to make an informed decision on whether to take the matter further and what is likely to happen from a legal standpoint if you do.

The contentious Wills challenge process

The contentious Wills challenge process

In the case of a contentious Will that you want to dispute, the first part of the process is to get some expert legal advice on the matter, such as from the experienced team at Forbes Solicitors. Your solicitor will discuss the circumstances and why you wish to contest the Will and will let you know whether it seems that you have sufficient evidence and grounds to do so. If you decide to proceed, there will be legal fees to consider, although we are often able to take this kind of case on a 'no win, no fee' basis, also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), which means that if you are not successful, you won't need to pay any legal fees.

The next stage of the process involves your solicitors conducting investigations to gather evidence to support your claim. We will then write to your opponent and outline the case that you wish to make to dispute the Will. The next step is to wait for a response from the other party. Ideally, the dispute would be moved into a mediation process, so that court proceedings can be avoided. It might be that your opponent accepts the challenge, or the dispute can be settled during mediation. However, if mediation isn't successful, we can issue court proceedings so that an official judgement can be made during a hearing.

Time limits for challenging a contentious Will

Time limits for challenging a contentious Will

The specific time limit for making a legal challenge to a Will that you feel is contentious will vary, depending on the grounds under which you are contesting it. For some grounds, there is a claim time limit of six months from the granting of probate. For others, there is not necessarily any time limit. This is why expert legal advice is needed as soon as possible if you're considering a challenge, and why experienced contentious Wills solicitors like Forbes are able to offer specialist support when it's required.

At Forbes Solicitors, we understand how difficult it can be to lose a loved one and then go on to have doubts about the validity of their Will. We're dedicated to offering not only our legal expertise on the matter, but also a level of understanding about the emotional support needed at this stressful time. We always strive to achieve the best possible outcome for every client, and keep you in the loop with how your claim is progressing at all times.

If you're considering challenging a contentious Will, get in touch with our team for more information about the next steps. Call us on 0800 689 3607, request a call back or enquire online.

Why choose our contentious Wills solicitors?

Here at Forbes Solicitors our contentious Wills lawyers are dedicated to providing exceptional legal services to our clients. With years of experience in handling complex and sensitive cases, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate through the legal process with ease. We understand that every case is unique, and we work closely with our clients to provide tailored solutions that meet their specific needs. Our team is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients, and we pride ourselves on our professionalism, integrity, and compassion. We focus on high service levels. Choose us for a reliable and effective legal representation.

How can our contentious Wills lawyers lawyers help?

How can our contentious Wills lawyers lawyers help?

Our contentious Wills solicitors help individuals and families who are involved in disputes over Wills, trusts, and estates. This includes beneficiaries, executors, trustees, and other parties who may have a legal interest in the distribution of assets. We can provide legal advice and representation in cases involving contested Wills, disputes over inheritance, breach of fiduciary duty, and more. Our team has extensive experience in handling complex and sensitive matters, and we are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

Contact us today to discuss your case and learn how we can help.

Contentious Will Solicitors FAQs

What proof do you need to contest a Will?

To contest a Will you need to provide evidence that the Will was not executed properly, the deceased lacked testamentary capacity when making the Will, the deceased was unduly influenced or coerced into making the Will, or the Will is fraudulent or forged. You may also contest a Will if you were not adequately provided for as a relevant applicant under the Inheritance Act.

What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

The grounds for contesting a Will include lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud or forgery, and improper execution. Lack of testamentary capacity refers to the testator's inability to understand the nature and effect of making a Will. Undue influence occurs when the testator is coerced or manipulated into making a particular provision in the Will. Fraud or forgery refers to the creation or alteration of a will with the intention to deceive. Improper execution refers to failure to comply with the legal formalities required for making a valid Will.

How long do I have to contest a will?

You have six months from the date of the Grant of Probate to pursue an Inheritance Act claim but no set timescale to pursue a challenge to the validity of a Will. However, it is recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you wish to contest a Will.

What is the process for contesting a Will?

To contest a Will you must have legal standing, such as being a beneficiary or family member of the deceased. The first step is to obtain a copy of the Will and seek legal advice. Grounds for contesting a Will include lack of capacity, undue influence, fraud, or improper execution. The case may be settled through negotiation or may go to court.

Can I contest a Will if I am not named in it?

Yes, you can contest a Will even if you are not named in it. However, you must have a valid reason to do so, such as if you believe the Will was not properly executed, the deceased lacked mental capacity when making the Will. The process of contesting a Will can be complex and it is recommended to seek legal advice.

What happens if a Will is successfully contested?

If a Will is successfully contested it may be declared invalid. The estate should then be distributed according to the rules of intestacy or a previous valid Will.

Can I still contest a Will if it has already been probated?

Yes, it is possible to contest a Will even after it has been probated. However, there are strict time limits for doing so and the process can be more complicated and costly than if the challenge had been made before probate was granted. It is advisable to seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor if you wish to contest a Will.

What is the role of a contentious Wills solicitor?

A contentious Wills solicitor is responsible for handling disputes related to Wills, trusts, and estates. They provide legal advice and representation to clients who are contesting or defending a Will, challenging the validity of a Will, or seeking to claim their rightful inheritance. They work to resolve disputes through negotiation, mediation, or litigation, and ensure that their clients' interests are protected.

How do I choose the right solicitor for my case?

When choosing a solicitor for your case, consider their experience and expertise in the relevant area of law, their reputation and track record of success, their communication skills and availability, and their fees and billing structure. It is also important to ensure that they are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and have professional indemnity insurance. You may also want to seek recommendations from trusted sources or read reviews from previous clients.

Our dedicated Contesting a Will team

John Lambe.jpg

Partner, Contesting a Will

John Lambe

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Partner, Contesting a Will

Tom Howcroft


Senior Associate, Contesting a Will

Rebecca Beaumont

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