Best contentious probate solicitors UK

If you are dealing with a Wills dispute after someone has died, you may be looking for the best contentious probate solicitors to help you resolve matters. Having legal advice early on can help you avoid an escalation and an expensive and lengthy court case.

At Lockings Solicitors, our contentious probate team is headed by Associate Director Sarah Thomsen, who has decades of experience in handling Wills and inheritance disputes. As a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), she routinely takes on complex and high-value cases.

We always aim to resolve matters out of court wherever possible, using negotiation and other alternative methods of dispute resolution. This is usually a faster and less costly way of dealing with claims and can prevent relationships from deteriorating further. We have a proven track record of securing good results for clients, including by way of litigation where this is necessary.

Our advice will be clear and free of legal jargon. We are always happy to talk through any issues and discuss progress and strategy throughout. We will make sure that you have an honest assessment of the strength of your case and our recommendations are always pragmatic.

Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will ring you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the UK and abroad if the matter relates to English property and estates.

Our contentious probate services

Our contentious probate solicitors offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Inheritance Act claims for financial provision
  • Wills disputes, including claims that a Will is invalid
  • Disagreements over estate administration
  • Intestacy claims for financial provision
  • Trusts disputes
  • Lodging a caveat with the Probate Registry to stop a probate application
  • Representing executors and administrators in defending claims against an estate
  • Advising on estate administration when there is risk of a dispute arising

Resolving a Wills or inheritance dispute

We know how hard it can be to deal with a dispute following the death of a loved one and our team will always handle your case sensitively, providing the support and guidance you need.

Wills disputes can quickly become entrenched and if you want to resolve matters with a minimal amount of damage to family relationships, speaking to an experienced contentious probate solicitor as soon as possible is recommended.

We are experts at finding solutions to even the most difficult disagreements. We can negotiate robustly on your behalf to try and agree on a way forward without the need for litigation. Where necessary, we can represent you through an alternative method of dispute resolution such as mediation.

If a court hearing is unavoidable, we will make sure that you are thoroughly prepared and that you are represented by an expert contentious probate advocate.

We act for a full range of parties in Wills disputes, including beneficiaries, those omitted from a Will, executors, administrators and trustees.

Contentious probate frequently asked questions

When can I contest a Will?

If you are not happy that a Will is valid, you may be entitled to contest it. If you ring us to explain why you are concerned, we will be able to advise you as to whether you have a case and discuss the first steps in establishing this.

Reasons that a Will could be invalid include:

  • The person who made the Will, known as the testator, did not have sufficient mental capacity to understand what they were signing
  • The testator was unduly influenced by someone into making the Will they did
  • There was a lack of knowledge and approval on the part of the testator
  • Failure to correctly sign the Will and have it witnessed
  • Fraud or forgery
  • The deceased married after making their Will and the Will was not made in contemplation of the marriage

Can I make a claim if I am cut out of a Will?

Certain individuals may be able to make a claim if they are not included in a Will or they do not inherit as much as they believe they should have done. Similarly, if the deceased did not make a Will and the Rules of Intestacy mean that someone does not inherit anything or what they receive is not a reasonable financial provision, they may be able to make a claim.

The relevant legislation is the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This states that the following may be able to make a claim:

  • A spouse or civil partner of the deceased
  • A former spouse or former civil partner who has not remarried or entered into another civil partnership
  • A child of the deceased
  • Someone whom the deceased treated as their child
  • A cohabiting partner who lived with the deceased for at least two years immediately before their death
  • Anyone who was being financially supported by the deceased at the time of their death

If a claim is successful, then the court can award ‘reasonable financial provision’. A spouse or civil partner will be entitled to a similar sum to the amount they might have received in a divorce.

Can I get an executor removed?

It is sometimes the case that an executor or (where there was no Will) an administrator fails in their duty to act in the best interests of the estate and the beneficiaries. For example, they may cause a financial loss to the estate, not wind up the estate promptly or buy assets from the estate themselves at an undervalue.

If this is the case, the court can be asked to remove them if they are not willing to rectify matters. It is necessary to provide evidence that the executor or administrator is not handling the winding up of the estate correctly.

Is there a time limit for contentious probate cases?

There is a time limit of six months from the date of the Grant of Probate to file an Inheritance Act claim. If this time has passed, it may still be possible to make a claim, but we will need to explain to the court why the deadline was missed.

If you are considering any type of claim or you want to dispute a Will, you are strongly advised to speak to a contentious probate solicitor immediately. The sooner we can start work, the more easily available evidence will be. Events will also be fresher in the memories of those involved.

Best contentious probate solicitors UK

If you are looking for the best contentious probate solicitors, contact us today.

Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the UK and abroad if the matter relates to English property and estates.

 

The content on this website is for information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice to a particular case. Should you require legal advice in relation to your particular situation then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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If you are a customer of Lockings Solicitors and we have contracted with you online you may be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform to assist in resolving any dispute with us. This service can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/odr.

Our email address is welcome@lockings.co.uk

Lockings Solicitors is a trading name of Lockings Legal Services Limited registered in England and Wales company registration number 09244568. Lockings Legal Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Main Office SRA ID number 626081). A list of our directors is available for inspection at all our offices. Use the following link https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/
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The content on this website is for information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice to a particular case. Should you require legal advice in relation to your particular situation then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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