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Contested Probate

Contested probate can surely bring discomfort to people, based on circumstantial situations. Contested probate associate with a dispute concerning the administration of deceased person’s assets and estate.
In most cases, it refers to a dispute over assets, interpretation of a will, and dealing with executors. The English law illustrates respecting the wishes of the deceased person at all costs.
If the distribution of assets is aligned with the desires of a testator (person making the will), then it will be inappropriate to contest a will.

What is Contesting a Will?

Contesting a will refers to filing a dispute in the case if you find will to be invalid or if the will has not been executed accordingly. If you suspect that the true intentions might not reflect from the will, or either it is not accurately executed.

In such stances, you will be able to contest a will. In a case, if there is no will, or either the one produced is invalid. The deceased’s estate will be distributed following the rules of intestacy (hierarchy of relatives share from the estate).

If you feel like you have strong grounds to contest a will, you should seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.

How to Contest a Will in the UK?

There are different grounds for contesting probate. The list of the factors include:
  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Lack of Approval
  • Undue Influence
  • Forgery and Fraud
  • Wills Act 1837

What Happens When a Will is Contested

It is a complicated process to contest a will in the UK. But do not worry, we’ll guide you with the best assistance regarding the execution of a will including mediation.
If the case is feasible to be taken up to the court, we will stand for you in the court. The first thing you will need is a valid will. A valid will refers to the establishment of a ‘Will’ duly signed and witnessed.

If you have any doubts about the invalidity of will, you can contest on the ground of validity. The executor(s) consider a neutral strategy when a will is contested.

As they shall not stand responsible for legal costs if any concerns mount about handling the estate. This implies delaying the administering estate until the involved parties come to a friendly resolution. Sometimes, in cases where the matter is resolved through the Order of Court.

What is a Caveat?

In simple words, a caveat can be described as the way to prevent grants from being issued. A solicitor will enter a caveat to restrict “Grant of Probate” from execution.

If you have doubts concerning the will of the deceased person or any other serious conflicts. You can use caveat to find enough time to reconsider the facts and figures.

When can a 'Will' be Contested?

The ‘Will’ holds significant value towards the deceased, and towards legal law in the UK. People can contest probate in the UK under certain circumstances.

Testamentary Capacity:

The deceased person did not have an adequate mental condition (sound mind, memory, and understanding), during the creation of a will.

Lack of Approval:

The deceased person did not have the required knowledge and approval. A person must understand the content of the will completely and acknowledge the approval for the will to be valid.

Undue Influence:

In a case, where the will is designed under the influence of someone else. If the distribution of assets is overpowered by the interference of someone, such a situation is regarded as ‘Undue Influence’.

Forgery:

For if, there is a chance of forgery or fraudulent activities associated with the will of a deceased person. Generally, if the signature of the deceased is forged, or the will contains fraudulent content.

Wills Act 1837:

If a will does not comply with Section 9 of the Wills Act (1837). The will must be in writing and duly signed. Also, there must be witnesses of the person signing the will.

What is the Cost of Contesting a Will?

Contesting a will can be a rather extensive process, based on the nature of the cases. So, it is difficult to conclude an average cost of contesting a Will.
The court usually decides who bears the cost of litigation services. Mostly, the losing side has to pay for all the incurred costs.
(Winning party litigation costs and their own). The court may order the alternate procedure of payments for situations like:

  • If the person who designed the will and the beneficiaries confront a legal challenge, then the cost might be acquired from the remaining estate.
  • If the court rules out for an investigation into the will, in that case, each party will pay for their expenses.

Due to potential costs, it is essential to evaluate the merits of the claim—also, the chances of coming out successful, before any legal action.

Can a Sibling Contest a Will?

Following probate law, spouses, children of mentioned people in the will can only contest a will. If anyone of the associated people mentions court with the problem regarding a will, this will initiate the contest.

The chances of overturning the will, just because you feel dropped out, or the person told you something else regarding will are not so progressive.

What is the ``Time-Limit`` to Contest a Will?

The time limit to file a claim regarding contesting a will differ, mainly due to the category of claim for instance:

  • If you are looking forward to contesting a will, for the claim of a financial provision under the Inheritance Act 1975, you have a period of 6 months from the allotment of Grant of Probate.
  • For removal of any clerical mistakes, or either mistake committed during the understanding of testator intentions. It will also take 6 months from the date of Grant of Probate.
  • If the testator (person making the will) lacks in testamentary capacity, or during forgery and undue influence. The time limit is not specific to contest the will. But delay can reduce your chances of success.
  • If you have strong affirmation regarding the inaccurate execution regarding Will, there is no specific time limit applicable to contest a Will.
  • If you believe that Will is forged and is prepared through fraudulent contents. There is no time limit applicable for contesting a will in such a scenario.

Can You Contest a Will After Probate?

It is highly essential to contest a will as soon as possible, in case of valid grounds, mainly because it is convenient to notify the executor(s) of the will regarding a claim.

If a Will has a disability, a caveat may be entered to prevent the Grant of Probate. However, it is possible to contest a will after probate, but this can lead to practical difficulties. For if assets have already been distributed.

How can we help in Contest Probate?

The first advisable step to take whether the probate is being contested or not— is to hire an experienced and licensed contest probate solicitor.

One of the many significant reasons for this is when you are the executor of the estate— you are bound by many legal requirements that can have sensitive and far-reaching repercussions if you fail to comply.

Your solicitor helps keep you alongside essential deadlines and ensures that all documents submitted to the court are correctly put together.

Our team of friendly experts at DV is here to support you with the best services regarding contested wills and probate lawyers. We are privileged to uphold various cases that helped many private clients and prevented them from getting into trouble at the same time.

There's no better time than now

People rely on us, and we pride ourselves on our client-centered advocacy and representation.

How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at info@dvsolicitors.com for further information and advice about our services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Contesting a Will?
A person can contest a will in court based on the invalidity, or objections in the content of a Will, associated with the distribution of an estate.
Can Grand Children Contest a Will in the UK?
As per usual proceedings in the UK, grandchildren do not qualify for the contest of will. According to law, you must be either married to the deceased person, in a civil partnership, or the direct child of the deceased.
Can I Contest My Father's Will in the UK?
If you have any doubt regarding the contents of a will or the execution of a will. You can directly notify the court regarding strong grounds. As per probate laws, only spouses, children, or people mentioned in the will, or in the previous will can contest the will.
What Happens if You Don't Make a Will?
If you do not make a will and die intestate, your assets and estate will be distributed following the state’s laws. That means, if there is someone you wish your property or assets passed onto, they will be left with nothing.
Can You Contest a Will After an Estate is Distributed?
Technically, you can contest a will after the estate is distributed. The only condition requires you to be beneficiary or executioner(s), but the chances of attaining success fall critically low.
Can a Non-Family Member Contest a Will?
Suppose you are not listed among family members either named in the previous will. You do not stand a chance to contest a will. But, if the testator has mentioned your name in the will documents, in that case, you can contest the will.
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