Contentious Probate

Probate Disputes

Disputes can arise for many reasons; a challenge of the validity of a will, disagreements between executors or simply to allow time for issues to be resolved. Some of the most common reasons are listed as follows:

  • The person applying for probate is not entitled
  • Two or more people equally entitled to apply are in disagreement
  • Whether or not a will exists
  • Claims that the Will it is not the last Will
  • The deceased was not of sound mind
  • Allegations the Will has been tampered with
  • The witness to the Will was a beneficiary
  • There is reason to suggest that the assets will not be distributed as per the will
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Intestate Death

Many disputes are as a result of an intestate death, where the deceased did not leave a will. Some people find themselves in terrible situations, you could be a co-habiting partner, or you are an ex-spouse of the deceased who was being paid maintenance. Under the rules of intestacy, you do not have any rights to the estate.

When there's a Will Dispute

You may dispute the validity of the will for many reasons. Perhaps your partner has passed away and always meant to update their will but just never managed to get around to it. Maybe you don't believe the deceased was of sane mind or suspect foul play. Or, you could be concerned about the motives of the person appointed as executor.

Whether or not the deceased made a will, it is possible to contest the distribution under intestacy and you can contest the will or make a claim against the estate.

If you are in either of these predicaments you need to act fast. Unfortunately there are strict time limits for probate disputes and if you don't take action quickly, it could be too late. Please call our team who can advise you how to proceed. Lines are open 7 days a week until 10pm.

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What is a Caveat?

In all these cases, disputes begin with an entry of caveat. The person who contests probate enters a caveat into the registry to prevent the other party applying, it is the first step in contesting the will or making a claim against an estate. In the event of a probate dispute, the caveat stops the executor or administrator being able to apply for the Grant of Representation. This document allows the applicant control over the assets of the deceased.

The caveat probate will be valid for 6 months and can be re-issued for a further 6 months. This time period allows parties to resolve their differences. It can only be removed if both parties consent.

What Happens when Disputes Cannot be settled?

Unfortunately, in many cases they cannot be resolved amicably. This can be very distressing for all parties, not to mention costly. The likely outcome will be court proceedings and you may be liable for costs. Unless the estate of the deceased is in excess of £50,000 it is not even financially viable to dispute it. In the event you cannot come to any agreement, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

IWC advisors are at the end of a telephone 7 days a week until 10pm, call for free, impartial legal advice concerning disputes on 02037 338 201.

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Contentious_Probate - Probate Disputes
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