Contentious probate claims

Contentious probate refers to a dispute over a Will or inheritance matter after someone has died. Dealing with an estate administration can be complicated and if those involved have different opinions over how matters should be dealt with or what those close to the deceased should inherit, disagreements can easily arise.

If they are not dealt with promptly, a difficult situation can deteriorate, resulting in a legal dispute. Dealing with a contentious probate issue as soon as it arises often means that it can be resolved before it escalates.

At Lockings Solicitors, our contentious probate claims solicitors can advise you of your rights and whether you have the necessary grounds to bring a legal case. We will put together robust evidence in support of your position and we are often able to negotiate a settlement once a case has been presented to the other side.

Our contentious probate team is led by Associate Director Sarah Thomsen, who has many years of experience and routinely takes on complex and high-value cases. She holds membership of ACTAPS, the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists, and is supported by a team with expertise across all types of contested Wills and inheritance claims.

As well as a high level of legal competence, we pride ourselves on the exceptional standards of service that we offer. We know that this type of case can be particularly stressful and we will make sure that you have the guidance and support necessary. We will stay in close contact with you throughout the case so that you know what stage has been reached and what will be happening next.

We are always happy to answer questions and discuss developments as they occur, adjusting the case strategy as needed.

To speak to us about a contentious probate claim, 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 claims services

We handle all types of contentious probate cases, including:

  • Wills disputes, to include:
    • Invalid Wills
    • Fraud or forgery
    • Lack of testamentary capacity
    • Lack of knowledge or approval of the contents of a Will
    • Undue influence
    • Mistakes or ambiguity in Wills
  • Inheritance Act claims for financial support from an estate
  • Estate administration disputes, to include:
    • Claims against executors or administrators who have failed to deal correctly with an estate administration
    • Court orders for the provision of information in respect of the Will or the estate
    • Court orders for directions in respect of estate administration
    • Removal of executors or administrators
    • Executor or administrator disputes
  • Trusts disputes
  • Professional negligence claims against Will writers or Wills solicitors

How we deal with contentious probate claims

We always try to resolve disputes out of court. This is not only faster and more cost-effective, it can help prevent damage to family relationships.

We will go through what has happened and establish what evidence is available. We can then put a strong case forward on your behalf and attempt to negotiate an acceptable settlement. Where necessary, we can discuss alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation.

Where there is no other option, we can take your case to court. We have a proven track record of success, both in and out of court.

Challenging the validity of a Will

After a death, you may be concerned that there is a problem with the Will left by the deceased. For example, you may feel that they were pressured by someone into making the Will in certain terms, that they did not fully understand the implications of the Will or that they did not have the mental capacity to make a Will.

We can advise you as to whether you have valid grounds to challenge the validity of the Will. We can secure evidence in support of your claim, including the records of the solicitor who prepared the document and witness statements from individuals in the deceased’s life who may have relevant information.

If a Will is declared invalid by the court, then a previous valid Will takes its place. If there is no other valid Will, then the estate will pass under the rules of intestacy. The rules set out who is entitled to inherit in order of priority.

We will discuss the likely outcome with you, as well as giving you a realistic assessment of the strength of your case and the likely results.

Making an inheritance claim for financial provision

If you have been left out of a Will or you have received less than you believe you are entitled to, you may be able to make a claim for financial provision.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows the following individuals to make a claim:

  • The deceased’s spouse or civil partner
  • The deceased’s former spouse or civil partner, provided they have not remarried or entered into another civil partnership
  • The deceased’s child
  • Someone the deceased treated as their child
  • A cohabiting partner, provided they were living with the deceased for at least two years prior to the date of death
  • Someone being financially supported by the deceased at the time of their death

In considering a claim, the court will look at issues such as the size of the estate, your needs, the resources available to you and the needs of any other beneficiaries and claimants.

A spouse or civil partner of the deceased can claim the amount that they might have received in a divorce or dissolution. Anyone else can claim reasonable financial provision and the court will assess what it feels this is, taking into account your needs and resources and any other relevant facts, such as any physical or mental disability.

Contentious probate claims solicitors

If you wish to make a contentious probate claim, please feel free to contact us. We can answer your initial questions and discuss the first steps in establishing whether you have a case.

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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Accreditations

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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