Contentious Probate Solicitors

Contentious Probate SolicitorsDealing with a dispute after someone has died can be difficult and upsetting. Disagreements that are not handled quickly and effectively can escalate and cause family rifts. Engaging a specialist solicitor early on will give you the best chance of resolving matters promptly before positions become fixed.

At Lockings Solicitors, we have a dedicated team of contentious probate lawyers who have an exceptional level of expertise, including in complex and high value disputes.

Our team is led by Associate Director Sarah Thomsen, who has twenty years’ experience in litigation. As a contested probate expert, Sarah is a Registered Contentious Trust and Probate Specialist being a full member of ACTAPS, the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.

Sarah and her team are known for their legal excellence in this complex area of law and for the good results they achieve for clients across a wide range of Wills and inheritance disputes. We also provide an outstanding service. Our advice will be clear and pragmatic and we will make sure that we are available to speak to you as needed to discuss any concerns you may have. You will be kept updated on progress throughout your case and we will give you the guidance and support you need during what may be a difficult time.

Our services are excellent value for money for the specialist advice we provide. If you would like to discuss how we can help you and the likely costs, please give us a call.

Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York but represent clients across the UK and abroad if it relates to English property and estates.

Our contentious probate services

We offer a full range of contested probate services, including:

  • Inheritance Act claims for individuals left out of Wills
  • Wills disputes, including:
    • Interpretation of a Will
    • Mental capacity of the testator
    • Lack of knowledge or approval of the Will
    • Undue influence exercised over the testator
    • Invalid Wills
    • Will fraud or forgery
  • Estate administration disputes, including:
    • Disputes between executors
    • Action against executors for failing in their duties, to include removing executors
    • Asking the court for directions regarding estate administration
    • Asking the court to order the production of documents, such as a copy Will or an inventory of assets
  • Intestacy disputes
  • Trust disputes
  • Professional negligence claims against Wills writers or Wills solicitors

How our contentious probate solicitors deal with disputes

Wherever possible, we will aim to resolve Wills disputes out of court. We will give you an honest appraisal of the strength of your case and the outcome you might expect.

We will put your case to the other party or parties involved and, where necessary, enter into negotiations to try and reach an acceptable settlement.

Our team has a strong track record of success in dealing with Wills and inheritance disputes out of court and we are often able to find a solution. We can also assist you through alternative dispute resolution, which is an alternative to litigation. It is generally a faster and more cost-effective way of dealing with matters and can also prevent relationships from deteriorating.

If it is not possible to deal with an issue any other way, we can prepare your case for court. We have exceptional litigation experience and will ensure that your case is robust and that you are represented by an expert advocate.

Contentious probate FAQs

On what grounds can you contest a Will?

There are a wide range of grounds on which Wills can be contested, including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act; and
  • An invalid Will

Inheritance Act claims

If you are a close relative or the deceased or you were supported by them prior to their death but you were not included in their Will, you may have valid grounds to make a claim for reasonable financial support. This includes if you were left some money but less than you feel you need.

Why a Will might be invalid

There are many reasons why a Will could be invalid, including:

  • The deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a Will
  • They were not aware of what the Will contained
  • They were subject to undue influence in making the Will
  • The Will was not properly executed or witnessed
  • The Will was forged or there has been a fraud
  • The deceased married since making the Will
  • A mistake was made in the drafting of the Will

Do I need a solicitor for a contested probate case?

Contesting a Will is not easy and it is essential to put together a comprehensive case, including the correct grounds for your challenge together with the right evidence in support.

As a member of ACTAPS, Sarah Thomsen has the expertise to put forward the strongest possible case on your behalf. Being represented by experienced contentious probate solicitors will give you a clear tactical advantage. Executors are often willing to negotiate a settlement when faced with the prospect of a legal case brought by experts.

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

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act allows certain individuals to make a claim against an estate if they are not included in a Will or if they have not been left reasonable financial provision.

Those who can make a claim are:

  • A spouse or civil partner
  • A former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or entered into a civil partnership
  • A child of the deceased
  • Someone who was treated as their child by the deceased
  • A cohabiting partner who had lived with the deceased for at least two years immediately prior to their death
  • Someone who was being maintained by the deceased at the time of their death

With the exception of a spouse or civil partner, those with a valid claim will be entitled to reasonable financial provision. A spouse or civil partner may receive more, with a sum likely to be similar to what they might have received in a divorce.

If you have been left out of a Will and you would like advice on making a claim against the estate, call us for an initial free chat. We can let you know whether you are eligible to claim and discuss the first steps, as well as answering any questions you may have.

Is there a time limit for Inheritance Act claims?

An Inheritance Act claim should be started within six months of the date of the Grant of Probate or the Grant of Letters of Administration. It may be possible to make a claim after six months, but we will have to put forward a sound reason for the delay.

If you believe you may have a valid claim or you are involved in a Will or inheritance dispute, you should speak to a contentious probate solicitor as soon as possible.

Can an executor be removed if they are not administering an estate correctly?

An executor or (if there is no Will) administrator has a wide range of duties to deal with someone’s affairs after their death. If they fail in their duties, for example, because they are not dealing with the estate properly, they have failed to provide information that the beneficiaries are entitled to or a conflict of interest has arisen, the court can be asked to remove them.

If you have concerns over the actions of an executor or administrator, we can advise you of your options and take steps to remedy the matter.

Contact our contentious probate solicitors

If you are dealing with the difficult issue of a Wills dispute or an inheritance dispute or you have been left out of a Will, ring us to speak to an expert contentious probate solicitor.

Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York but represent clients across the UK and abroad if it 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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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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