0345 604 4895
Contentious Probate

Contesting Probate When There Is No Will

If a loved one has died without leaving a valid Will, dealing with their estate can be daunting. We’re here to help you through the process and make sure you receive the provision you’re entitled to.

When a person dies without a Will this is known as intestacy. The ‘rules of intestacy’ set out who can inherit from an estate. However, these rules may not fully reflect the deceased’s wishes or personal relationships.

We could help you if you are facing problems such as:

  • Disputes over who should administer the estate
  • The unmarried partner of the deceased hasn’t been provided for
  • A child or dependant has not been reasonably provided for
  • An estranged spouse has inherited the estate or a part of it.

Contesting probate can feel difficult when there is no Will to back up a claim, especially if the estate is particularly large or complex. The rules of intestacy make no provision for unmarried partners and do not take into account any verbal promises the deceased might have made in their lifetime.

If you feel you’ve been left unfairly out of an inheritance, or you haven’t received the provision you need, we can help.

Our expert Will disputes team is the largest in the country, with offices across the UK. We’ve resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and have particular experience with trusts, rural property and overseas assets.

Call today on 0345 604 4895 – or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

Offices in 15 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

0345 604 4895

Or we can call you back at a time of your choice

  • Phone lines open 24/7, 365 days a year

Contact us today

And let us know how we can help

Prefer not to call?

Use our form

This data will only be used by Irwin Mitchell for processing your query and for no other purpose.

No Will Probate - 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 Are The Rules Of Intestacy?

When a person dies without leaving a valid Will they are said to be ‘intestate’. The rules of intestacy are the laws governing who has the right to inherit from their estate.

Under the rules of intestacy, spouses and children take precedence – unmarried partners have no automatic claim on the estate.

All the deceased’s property will pass to their spouse, as well as the first £250,000 of the estate (if the estate is valued over £250,000). The remainder of the estate is then split – half will go to their spouse, and the other half will be divided equally between their children.

If there is no surviving partner, the deceased’s children will inherit the estate. Other family members, such as siblings and grandchildren, will only inherit when there is no surviving spouse or child.

These rules also dictate who can apply for a grant of representation to administer the estate in the absence of a named executor. Again, this will usually be the spouse or civil partner.

You can use the government’s intestacy calculator to work out who inherits if a loved one hasn’t left a Will.

If you have not been provided for under the rules of intestacy, or haven’t been given enough, our expert solicitors are here to help. Call us today on 0345 604 4895 or use our online form and we’ll call you back.

Read More... Read Less...

What If I Haven’t Been Provided For?

Unfortunately it’s not possible to stop the rules of intestacy from taking effect. However, if you believe you are entitled to a share of the estate, you may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act.

The Inheritance Act 1975 allows you to make a claim for financial provision if you have not been provided for, or you haven’t been given enough. This might be the case if:

  • You were living with the deceased but were not married or in a civil partnership
  • You were financially dependent on them, but weren’t a spouse or child
  • You’ve inherited under the rules of intestacy but it is not enough to support you.

Claims under the Inheritance Act must be brought within six months of the grant of representation being issued so we advise getting in touch as soon as possible to talk through your options.

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.

Read More... Read Less...

Why Isn’t There A Valid Will?

There are a number of reasons there may not be a valid Will:

  • The deceased never wrote one
  • They wrote one but it has been lost
  • They wrote one but it is invalid

If a Will is found to be invalid because the proper procedure wasn’t followed when it was being drafted, you may be able to make a claim for professional negligence against the solicitor or Will writer who dealt with the deceased’s affairs. Find out more on our professional negligence page.

Finding out that a loved one died without leaving a valid Will can be stressful and upsetting, but we’re here to help. Our team has dealt with some of the key high-profile cases of recent years and can help resolve even the most complex disputes.

Call the team today on 0345 604 4895, or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

Read More... Read Less...

Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

Read More Feedback

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

© 2019 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.