Wills And Probate Disputes
Being embroiled in a dispute about the legality or contents of a Will or how Probate is being conducted is one of the most stressful events a person can go through.
These types of disputes require sensitivity as well as advice dispensed in a practical, emotion-free manner so you can make the right decisions.
Our Wills and Probate Dispute Resolution Solicitors are extremely successful and busy because this is exactly how we operate. We advise and represent individuals, families, and Executors in Coventry and Warwickshire who need to resolve a Will or Probate-related dispute. Our team has a robust reputation for combining compassion with firmness to ensure arguments are resolved quickly and cost-effectively.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with streamlined, modern, and highly effective Wills and Probate dispute advice and representation. Our many years of experience means we have a robust reputation for excellence with the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel, Forensic Accountants, Industry Experts, Insolvency Professionals, and Surveyors who can bring additional support to our Civil Litigation Department if required. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses.
What are the grounds on which a Will can be challenged?
Most challenges to a Will are settled outside of Court. It is a fundamental principle of English law that a person is free to leave their property to whomever they wish after death. However, there are circumstances in which a Will can and should be challenged. These are:
- The Testator lacked mental capacity when executing their Will.
- Fraud or undue influence was used to ensure the Testator made certain provisions in their Will.
- The Will is not legally valid.
Our Contentious Wills and Probate Solicitors will examine the circumstances surrounding your claim and advise you as to:
- Whether the claim is worth pursuing when taking into consideration the financial and emotional ramifications of doing so, and
- If you do wish to proceed, the next best steps to take.
Wherever possible, we will attempt to settle the dispute through negotiation or mediation.
Who can make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, commonly known as the Inheritance Act 1975 allows the following people to bring a claim if they have not been reasonably provided for in a person’s Will.
- Spouses and Civil Partners.
- Former spouses.
- Children (including adult and estranged children).
- People who the deceased treated as their child.
- Someone financially maintained by the deceased.
When deciding on a claim, the Court is not concerned with the merits of the Claimant’s case. Rather, it makes an objective assessment as to whether the Will failed to make reasonable financial provision for the Claimant. Whether the deceased was morally right or wrong in their actions is not something the Court deliberates.
Factors the Court will consider include:
- The Claimant’s financial circumstances and those of the Beneficiaries.
- The size and nature of the estate.
- What obligations and responsibilities the deceased had towards the Claimant and other Beneficiaries.
- Whether the parties’ have any mental or physical disabilities.
- Any other relevant factors such as the behaviour of the parties.
Proceedings must be brought within six months following the Grant of Probate, although the Court does have the discretion to hear a case where proceedings are filed later.
Can an Executor be removed?
An Executor is appointed by the deceased in their Will. Their role is to administer the estate and apply for Probate. An Executor can be a family member or friend of the deceased or a professional such as a Solicitor or Accountant.
If the Executor has acted negligently or dishonestly you can make an application to have them removed. Examples of actions that may result in the removal of an Executor include:
- Taking too long to prepare and apply for Probate.
- Unlawfully transferring assets to themselves.
- Selling property and assets below market value for no good reason.
- Not distributing assets according to the provisions of the Will.
- Acting dishonestly.
We represent Executors and Beneficiaries in disputes over the performance of the Executor role. These types of disputes can be incredibly emotionally charged; therefore, it is important to instruct a Solicitor who has experience in Wills and Probate disputes. Our team understand the importance of clear communication and will proactively seek ways to resolve disagreements through non-litigious methods. But if it is evident that the Executor must be removed, we will waste no time in ensuring this is done.
Why choose us?
People choose and recommend us because we get results and in most instances, we are able to settle disputes outside of Court. Our Contentious Wills and Probate Solicitors will take care of your case, ensuring you understand the options available and get the advice you need to protect your best interests.
To talk to us about a Wills and Probate dispute, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Wills And Probate Disputes' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT