Inheritance and Will Disputes

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 and there are challenges to a Will.

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 and want to challenge it you must not delay in seeking advice.

Contact us

Laura Pracy is a specialist in Contentious Probate cases and if you want to have an informal chat with her call 0161 785 3500.

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