Contentious Probate and Will Dispute Solicitors

The loss of a loved one is always a painful time for families, and it becomes even more difficult when a dispute is raised about a person’s will.

Our contentious probate solicitors specialise in resolving will disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

We act on behalf of beneficiaries, family members, step children, common law spouses, executors and administrators, and always seek to resolve matters out of court where appropriate.

 

Whether you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of a will, the administration of an estate or trust, or you are looking to defend against another person’s claim, our contentious probate team can advise on all of your available legal options.

 

For more information on contentious probate, take a look at our guide: How to contest a will.

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Exceptional service at a sensitive time

Our contentious probate and will disputes solicitors understand the stress and sensitivity that are part and parcel of dealing with disagreements of this nature, particularly if it has caused a rift within a family.

With Slater Heelis, expert legal advice is only ever a telephone call away. We are here to advise on your best course of action, and provide peace of mind knowing that your claim is being dealt with by a senior legal professional, not a paralegal. We will also consider a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement depending on the nature of your claim.

There are strict time periods during which a will can be contested following the date of death or the grant of probate, and so seeking expert legal advice at an early stage should be deemed a priority.

We do our best to resolve matters out of court where appropriate. If court action is necessary, we draw on years of experience in resolving contentious probate claims on the basis of undue influence, lack of capacity, and the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can contentious probate take?

The amount of time is takes to resolve a probate dispute will depend on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the issues involved, and who is involved.

The length of proceedings can vary from 3 months, up to or even beyond a year for more complex cases, particularly if Court proceedings are issued

At what point should I contest a Will?

It is advised that you raise a dispute with a Will at the earliest opportunity.

There are critical time limits in most contentious probate cases which, if not observed may mean that you are unable to bring a claim. Time is of the essence and any delay may be fatal to your case.

Some of these time limits are significantly shorter that in other litigation matters. It is absolutely vital that you seek guidance as soon as possible.

We understand that the circumstances of the case may be very distressing to you. It is often difficult to make clear sighted and sound decisions at such times. We provide an oasis of calm and wise support. Our Will dispute solicitors are well versed in working hard on our clients’ behalf.

Can I dispute a Will if I am not in it?

There are many circumstances in which you can dispute a Will. For example, you may discover that you have been left out of a Will when you thought, or were told, you were going to be included. You may believe that the person’s Will was made or amended under duress or that there were doubts as to the mental capacity of the person who made the Will.

We will advise you on the chances of making a successful claim.

Whilst the validity of a Will can be challenged by a wide range of interested parties, only limited categories of people can claim financial provision from an Estate whether or not the Will (or disposition of the Estate under the rules that apply if the deceased did not leave a Will) is being challenged. These include a spouse, child, cohabitee or a person who was financially dependant on the Deceased.

What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

There are specific grounds for which you can contest a deceased person’s Will. These include:

  • The deceased did not have the required mental capacity
  • They did not fully understand or approve the content of the Will
  • Undue influence; someone has been coerced or forced into changing their Will
  • Forgery and Fraud
  • The Will was not properly signed and witnessed

Does contesting a Will delay probate?

Contesting a Will can considerably delay probate. To avoid delays, it is strongly recommended that a Will is professionally written with the support of a trusted and recommended solicitor.

The solicitor will make the process more time-efficient, less stressful and avoid disputes and the costs of having to go to court.

What happens if a will is successfully contested?

If a Will is successfully contested, the Will is declared invalid and will be replaced by the previous valid Will. If there was no prior Will then the rules of intestacy will apply.

Related Services

Inheritance Dispute Solicitors

the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can assist you in the event that either a will was not left, or you need to contest a will.

Meet the team

Talk to one of our team
members on 0161 969 3131