Will Disputes Solicitors in Scunthorpe and Goole
The loss of a loved one is a challenging situation to experience. Where you are concerned about the deceased’s Will, it is wise to take action sooner rather than later. There are many reasons as to why a Will might be disputed, from Inheritance Act claims to undue influence.
Our solicitors at Symes Bains Broomer understand the difficulty of suffering a loss, which can be further increased by a Will dispute. We take a sensitive approach to such disputes – it is always our aim to provide a stress-free process.
No matter the complexity of your situation, our contentious probate solicitors have a wealth of combined experience to assist your matter. We will take the time to listen to your concerns and provide realistic advice about what can be achieved, including the appropriate options available to you.
Our Will disputes solicitors can assist with matters including:
- Challenging the validity of a Will
- Inheritance Act claims
- Disputes over interpretation of Wills
What our Will disputes solicitors can do for individuals
Challenging the validity of a Will
The validity of a Will can be challenged for many reasons. If a Will is found to be invalid, it may be that an earlier Will can be used instead or the estate may be dealt with under the rules of intestacy.
A Will could be invalid for several reasons, including the following:
- The Will was improperly executed
- The deceased did not adequately understand the Will’s contents
- The deceased was not fully aware of the Will’s contents
- The deceased did not approve the Will
- The deceased was unduly influenced in the making of their Will
- The Will is fraudulent or forged
- The Will was revoked e.g. where the deceased made a new Will
Our Will disputes solicitors will advise you whether you’re eligible to challenge the validity of the Will and, if applicable, the available route to take.
To prevent the estate from being administrated, our solicitors can enter a caveat at the Probate Registry on your behalf. Doing this step will prevent Grant of Probate for six months, allowing you to deal with any questions about the Will’s validity.
Inheritance Act claims
Claims can be made under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, where someone who was financially dependent upon the deceased person feels that they have not received a sufficient inheritance to meet their reasonable needs.
A financially dependent person could consist of a spouse/civil partner, children (including those considered as children, e.g. adopted children and step children), a former spouse/civil partner (must be unmarried), any person who lived with the deceased for two years prior to their death and any other person considered financially supported by the deceased.
Our solicitors can assist those financially dependent upon the deceased to file a claim. We have helped many clients with successful Inheritance Act claims and can provide the advice and guidance needed for a smooth sailing process.
Disputes over interpretation of Wills
In certain situations, the drafting of a Will could have been done improperly or in a way that could be interpreted differently than was intended. There is also the possibility that a mistake was made in the Will that was not originally noticed.
Where you are concerned over the interpretation of a Will, seeking legal guidance is strongly recommended. Disputes over the interpretation of a Will can cause divides between family members. Our Will disputes lawyers believe it’s paramount to keep family relationships intact and to avoid unnecessary conflict or escalation, so will work proactively to achieve an outcome all parties are satisfied with.
Common questions about Will disputes
What are the grounds for contesting a Will?
There are particular circumstances where a Will may not be valid making a challenge possible. Examples of where a Will can be contested include:
- Lack of mental capacity – a Will written by an individual who lacks mental capacity will be considered invalid
- Undue influence – Where a person is vulnerable due to old age or ill-health and is pressurised into making a Will, this would be invalid
- Forgery – Where a Will is forged, or the signature is forged, it is not valid
- Improperly executed Will – for a Will to be valid, it must be executed as it is set out in the Wills Act 1837 including having the Will properly witnessed. Where the act is not followed, the Will is considered invalid
- A promise that was not carried out i.e. the deceased promised a bequest to some who relied on that promise to their detriment
What’s the time limit for contesting a Will?
When it comes to contesting a Will, the time limit will depend on the type of claim being brought forward.
Most types of Will disputes, such as those involving lack of mental capacity, Will validity, undue influence and forgery, do not have a specified time limit. However, once the estate has been distributed to the beneficiaries, it can be challenging to settle a Will dispute claim.
A notable difference is a Will contested under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has a much shorter time limit, of only six months from the date probate is granted. Though, the claim can be brought forward before the grant of probate, providing a longer time limit.
Our Will disputes fees
At Symes Bains Broomer, we understand cost can be of concern. That’s why we aim to provide clear fees that reflect the level of service needed. We have a range of flexible pricing options and will offer the most suitable option depending on your needs. Where your case is more straightforward, we are likely to be able to offer fixed fees.
Once we understand the type of dispute and the level of expertise needed, we will be able to provide an estimate of the costs involved.
For further information regarding service costs, please see our pricing page.
Contact our Will disputes solicitors in Scunthorpe and Goole
If you need help with raising or defending a Will dispute, contact our contentious probate solicitors today.
For an initial no commitment conversation, contact Andrew Horwich on 01724 281616.