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What is Contentious Probate?
When a person dies in England or Wales then their Estate (their assets) need to be dealt with. The Personal Representatives may needs to apply for a Grant of Representation. This is the legal document which gives the Personal Representatives the authority to administer the Deceased’s Estate.
Where the Deceased left a Will, the Executors appointed by the Will would apply for a Grant of Probate and where the Deceased died intestate (did not leave a will) the Deceased’s next of kin would apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.
On receipt of the Grant the Personal Representatives are required to identify and gather in the Deceased’s assets, pay any liabilities and depending on the value of the Estate, determine whether any Inheritance Tax is due. They then have a duty to distribute the Estate in accordance with either the terms of the Will or in accordance with the Intestacy Rules (see Intestacy Rules) to the beneficiaries.
Contentious Probate is the name given any type of dispute which arises regarding to the administration of an Estate. This can be a range of disputes including contesting a Will perhaps where you have concerns as to whether the Will has been validly executed, where you have concerns as to whether the Deceased had the mental capacity to make the will when they did or whether any pressure (‘undue influence’) was placed on them when the Will was made. If no or insufficient provision has been made for you either in the Deceased’s Will or as a result of the Intestacy Rules then you may be eligible to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Contentious Probate proceedings often involve families and friends and can be a complex process and emotional for all involved which is why it’s likely if you have a valid dispute, you’ll need the services of a Contentious Probate Solicitor to challenge the Will. Our Solicitors have the necessary experience and expertise to guide you through the difficult process of contesting a Will or bringing a claim against the estate.
Laura Pracy is a specialist Contentious Probate Solicitor in our Inheritance and Will Disputes Department.
If you believe that you have reason to challenge a Will or you have been unfairly left out of a Will, contact Laura on 0161 785 7291 us for a free initial, no obligation discussion as to how we can help you.
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