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Will, Trust & Estate Disputes

Contentious Probate Solicitors

Contentious probate refers to any dispute about how a person’s estate is administered after their death.

Losing a loved one is very difficult and problems with how their estate is being handled can make it even harder. If you feel that a loved one’s estate is not being managed properly, we can help you contest probate.

Our specialist solicitors are experts at resolving disputes, including:

We can also help you contest probate if there is no Will and you want to challenge how the estate has been divided up. A person’s legacy is a significant thing and it’s important to know that it’s being handled in a way that’s fair to those inheriting and doesn’t damage its value.

Estates can be very complicated, especially when there are multiple properties or international assets involved. Complex wealth structures incorporating trusts or rural estates can also present unique challenges.

Our team is the largest in the country and is experienced at dealing with disputes of all shapes and sizes. We have the expertise to help, whatever the nature of your dispute, whether you’re making a contentious probate claim or defending one.

Call today on 0345 604 4895 to speak to one of the team – or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

Offices in 14 locations across the country
24/7 advice on our Will Disputes Helpline
One of the largest Wills disputes teams in the UK
Specialist mediators available to resolve disputes out of court

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Contentious Probate Solicitors - More Information
    • Will I Have To Go To Court?
    • Most disputes can be resolved by negotiation and discussion, without having to go to court. However, sometimes this isn’t possible and court is the only way.

      We understand that most people would prefer to keep their dispute out of court, and we will always do everything we can to try and reach an agreement by mediation. However, if your dispute does have to go to court, we will support you at every stage. We have the experience to handle court disputes efficiently and effectively, to achieve the best outcome for you.

    • How Much Does It Cost? Who Pays?
    • The cost of a Will, trust or estate dispute varies from case to case, depending on time, complexity, and whether or not you have to go to court.

      A dispute can be settled at any time if the parties can come to an agreement, and they can then decide how to split the costs between them. However, if an agreement can’t be reached and the case has to go to court, the court will decide how the costs will be paid.

    • How Can I Cover The Cost Of My Claim?
    • There are various ways you can cover the cost of your claim, depending on your case. These include:

      • Legal Expenses Insurance
      • Conditional Fee Agreement (‘No Win No Fee’)
      • Payment on conclusion
      • Private monthly billing.

      We understand that funds and assets may be tied up in the disputed estate, and we’ll be as flexible as possible to ensure that’s not another worry on your mind. We’ll discuss the different payment options with you at the start.

      Your first consultation with us is completely free, and there’s no obligation to continue.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Depending on the type of claim you’re making, you may need to start your claim within six months of the grant of representation being issued. In all cases, it’s very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, so you aren’t prevented from making a valid and potentially valuable claim. We’ll be able to advise you on your situation and how we can help.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our Wills, Trusts and Estate Disputes team is the largest in the UK and we have offices across the country. We are experienced in managing high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth claims as well as less complex ones.

      We’ve resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of multi-jurisdictional wealth management structures, rural property and inheritance tax.

      We are recommended by the leading legal guides and pride ourselves on the strong relationship we build with our clients in what is often a very trying time.

      Meet the team

My legal team has held my hand throughout, they have been incredibly patient and understanding"

Joy Williams, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Contesting A Will And Contentious Probate?

Contentious probate refers to any dispute about the way a person’s estate is administered after they die. Technically, Will disputes fall under this term – if you wanted to challenge someone’s Will that would legally be termed contentious probate.

However, because there are so many different types of disputes that fall under the contentious probate banner, it’s helpful to break them down a little. We distinguish between contentious probate disputes, which are about how all the various assets of the estate are sorted out after someone’s death, and Will disputes, where there is a problem with the Will itself.

You might want to contest a Will if:

  • You think it is invalid
  • The deceased didn’t have mental capacity when they made it
  • They were pressured to change the Will to benefit someone else (known as undue influence)
  • The Will is a forgery or the result of fraud.

Find out more about contesting a Will – or call us today on 0345 604 4895 to discuss your dispute straightaway.

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What If There Is No Will?

If a loved one dies without leaving a Will, dealing with their affairs can feel even more complicated.

There are a number of reasons there may be no Will:

  • The deceased never wrote one
  • They wrote one but it has been lost
  • They gave instructions to a solicitor but it was never written up (see our page on professional negligence).

They might also have had verbal agreements with people but failed to put these into a formal Will. For example, they may have promised a loved one their house or certain assets, but without a Will there’s no guarantee their wishes will be carried out. Find more information on our pre-death agreements page.

We have the experience and expertise to help you out if this is the case. Head to our page on Contesting Probate When There Is No Will – or call today on 0345 604 4895 to find out more.

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Can I Appoint A New Executor?

The role of executor comes with a lot of responsibility and it’s important to know that the person tasked with dealing with a loved one’s estate is capable of doing it well.

To remove an executor and appoint someone else, you’ll need to show that there are good reasons for doing so.

This might include:

  • You think they are mismanaging the estate
  • There is a conflict of interests – i.e. if they also inherit from the estate and you believe this is compromising their duties
  • They can’t perform their duties because of mental or physical disability
  • The named executor can’t found.

Once an executor has accepted their role, they can’t step down except with a court order.

If you are unhappy with the conduct of an executor, we can help you explore the next options. Find out more on our page about disputes between Executors and Beneficiaries.

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Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018 legal-500-2019 chambers-2019

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