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Contested Probate Matters

Disputes that arise over the content of Wills or a family estate can be extremely stressful. Our team can help to resolve the problems and provide advice in relation to many contested probate matters.

The first step to resolving your dispute is to establish the legal position regarding your situation. Glanvilles have a team of solicitors who are fully experienced in contentious probate matters and are able to assist clients in resolving probate disputes of all kinds.

In terms of contested probate, we can provide legal assistance with:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Rectification of wills (cases against the way a solicitor has prepared a will)
  • Substitution or removal of personal representatives (executors or administrators)
  • Cases involving the Presumption of Death Act
  • Claims for Lack of Capacity and Undue Influence in relation to the Testator
  • Challenging the Validity of a Will
  • Fraudulent Calumny
  • Disputes relating to the value of an Estate’s assets
  • Disputes over the interpretation of a Will

As in most of our litigation work, we recognise that the litigation process can be costly and stressful, so we will always consider alternative means of settling disputes. We have considerable experience in mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which can often be considerably more cost effective in terms of reaching a resolution.

We also deal with claims by dependents that have not been included in the Will and want to make a claim against the estate and problems arising from intestacy.

Get in touch with our contentious probate solicitors in Chichester, Fareham and Havant

If you need support to resolve a contested probate dispute, our contested probate solicitors are on hand to lend their expertise.

You can contact your local Glanville’s office in Chichester, FarehamHavant or Petworth or use the contact form below, and we will get back to you quickly.

Why choose our solicitors to support with a contested probate matter?

Our contested probate solicitors have a wealth of combined expertise in handling disputes that arise over the probate process or the distribution of inheritance. As such, we can help you find a resolution to these disputes, focusing on securing a positive outcome without the need for court proceedings wherever possible.

We have a strong track record of reaching out of court settlements, which is a fast and more cost-effective way of dealing with these types of disputes.

However, if court litigation is unavoidable, we can provide robust legal representation to ensure your interests are well protected.

We understand that contested probate matters can be stressful and, in many instances, very upsetting to deal with. That’s why our team take a sympathetic and welcoming approach, giving you all the support you need to handle your case as effectively as possible.

The Glanvilles client service promise

At Glanvilles, we combine an outstanding service with genuine legal expertise. When you work with our team on a contested probate matter, you will have your own personal lawyer who will handle your case, working proactively to reach a positive conclusion as cost-effectively as possible.

When you work with our contested probate solicitors, we promise:

  • Our staff will be friendly, respectful and attentive.
  • Your concerns will be listened to, your questions answered, and your options explained in plain English.
  • The cost of dealing with your requirements will be made clear to you from the outset.
  • We will answer your phone calls and emails promptly.
  • We will keep you regularly updated at all times.

Contested probate FAQs

What is contested probate?

When someone dies, they will have appointed Executors in their Will to settle their affairs. If there was no Will, or the named Executors are not willing to act, an administrator will be given the responsibility of dealing with the deceased’s estate.

Settling someone’s affairs could refer to a number of tasks, including but not limited to valuing an estate, paying off debts, paying Inheritance Tax and distributing inheritance to any beneficiaries that have been named in the Will (or under the rules of intestacy). This is called probate.

If any disputes or disagreements arise over the probate process or inheritance, this is contested probate. For instance, there may be a dispute over the validity of the Will.

Can family members contest a Will?

Most challenges to Wills are submitted by the family members of the deceased. However, it is important to note that not all family members are entitled to claim inheritance because they are related to the deceased.

This means, if a family member is omitted from a Will, they need to bring forward evidence to be able to receive any financial provision.

Can a child contest a Will?

It is often possible for the children of the deceased to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if they require reasonable financial provision.

Again though, children (especially adult children) have no automatic entitlement to inheritance.

Before deciding whether someone has been unfairly omitted from receiving an inheritance, the court will consider a number of factors, including:

  • Financial needs
  • Other applicant’s financial needs
  • Other beneficiaries’ financial needs
  • Obligations of the deceased
  • The relative size of the estate
  • Physical or mental disabilities
  • Any other reasons which may be relevant to the application

Can a beneficiary contest a Will?

It is possible for beneficiaries to challenge a Will, even if they are due to receive inheritance. There are a number of potential reasons for a beneficiary to challenge a Will, including:

  • They disagree with the valuation of the estate
  • There are disagreements over the way Executors are handling the administration
  • There is a delay in them receiving inheritance

How long do you have to contest a Will?

There are usually very strict time limits for contesting a Will. Often, the time limit for claims under the Inheritance Act is six months, while beneficiaries making a claim against an estate will have 12 years from the date of death.

How are contested probate matters settled?

Contested probate matters can be resolved in several different ways, and, in many instances, there is no need to take a matter to court.

In certain scenarios, it may be possible to reach a resolution through mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, which means court litigation is not required.

If an agreement cannot be reached via this route, then the only other solution would be to make a court application to find a resolution.

Get in touch with us for advice about contested probate matters

If you need support to deal with a contested probate matter, our team are on hand to lend their expertise.

To speak to an expert solicitor about resolving a contested probate matter, give us a call at your local Hampshire or West Sussex branch in Chichester, FarehamHavant or Petworth or fill in our simple online enquiry form for a quick response.