Disputes about wills and inheritance

Sometimes when a loved one dies there can be issues over the distribution of their estate, even where a Will has been made, this is not necessarily the end of the matter.

Legal issues amongst families and friends can be distressing, contesting a Will can be difficult and emotional for all involved, but that is where our expertise and experience counts.

Probate is a formal legal process which involves proving in court that a Will is the last Will and Testament of the deceased and therefore valid. It is a step in the process of administering a loved one's assets and money (their "estate") after their death and "Contentious probate" refers to disputes about a Will - or a lack of a Will.

When disagreements arise about an estate, you would hope that matters can be resolved between all those affected without incident. However, the harsh reality is that such disagreements can often be divisive.

How can we help?

Pearson's specialist Contentious Probate team have the experience to advise you fully in what can often be a very difficult time and have successfully represented a number of individuals including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act
  • Disputes over Wills
  • Removal of executors
  • Removal of Caveats
  • Applications to the Court of Protection regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Statutory Wills

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Where a Will makes no provision (or no adequate provision) you may be able to bring a claim against the Estate of the deceased. Dependant children, spouses, cohabitees and other dependants can potentially bring claims. It should be noted that there is a limitation of 6 months from the date that probate is granted to bring a claim. In certain circumstances the Court will grant permission to bring a claim outside of the time limit. It is of course paramount that advice is sought as soon as possible. 

Contesting a Will

A Will may also be contested where it is believed that the Will is invalid. For example, where there are concerns as to the mental capacity of the person making the Will at the time the Will was made; concerns that pressure (‘undue influence’) was placed upon the deceased regarding beneficiaries to the Will; or on a more technical point – where the Will has not been executed properly. Again, if you have any concerns regarding a Will you must not delay in seeking advice.

Contact us

To find out how we can help you, contact Christopher Burke on 0161 684 6941 or make an enquiry.

 

 

 

Latest News

Managing the Affairs of Missing People Law Passed

With the general election hogging the headlines, the passing of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 , which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017, went almost unreported. Although the date on which the Act will come into force has not yet been...

Car Bonnet Will is Valid, Rules Court

There are a number of requirements that must be met for a will to be valid and one of these is that the signing of the will must be witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries. A recent case before the High Court turned on that point. It was brought...

Power of Attorney Fees Fall

With the recent furore over the Government's proposed increase in the cost of obtaining probate on larger estates, currently on ice owing to lack of parliamentary time in the run up to the General Election, it is nice to see that the direction of change in...

Cocktail of Drugs Not Sufficient to Overturn Will

Disputes about the validity of wills frequently centre on allegations that the deceased lacked 'mental capacity' when they created a will. In a recent case, the court had to consider whether a man who died less than two months after writing a will was...

Assets of Elderly Are Target of Wrongdoers

Where there is money, there is opportunity for wrongdoing and a steady stream of cases show that vigilance is needed to prevent the assets of the deceased or elderly being misappropriated. In one case, three cleaners of a deceased South Wales man claimed to...