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Wills, Trusts & Estate Disputes

Defending A Contested Will

If you’re an executor or beneficiary facing a challenge to a Will, we can help. Our solicitors have extensive experience defending contested Wills and have the expertise to resolve your dispute as quickly and fairly as possible.

We can help you if someone is trying to:

  • Contest the validity of a Will
  • Make a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 (if they haven’t been provided for but believe they should have been)
  • Challenge how the estate has been divided up if the deceased didn’t leave a Will
  • Remove you as the executor of the estate
  • Make a claim for Proprietary Estoppel (if they’ve been promised something they didn’t receive and this has severely disadvantaged them).

Challenges to a Will can be disruptive and upsetting. They delay the process of administering the estate and, if you’re a beneficiary, can reduce what you’re entitled to. As well as being emotionally distressing, this can have serious financial consequences.

We’ll help you protect your position and resolve the dispute quickly and effectively. We have the largest specialist team in the country, with the knowledge and expertise to support you, whether you’re a beneficiary or executor.

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

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Defending A Contested Will - More Information
    • Who Can Contest A Will?
    • Technically anyone with an interest in the estate can contest a Will, if they think it’s wrong or unfair. This might be someone who is:

      • Named in the Will but unhappy with their share
      • Unhappy with the way the estate is being divided
      • Not included in the Will but thinks they should have been – either because of their relation to the deceased or because they were promised something while that person was alive.

      Whoever is making the challenge, we’ll be able to advise you on your options and the best way to respond.

    • On What Grounds Can Someone Challenge A Will?
    • Every case is different and the exact nature of the dispute will depend on the circumstances of the Will and the person making the claim.

      Someone might contest a Will on the grounds that:

      • They were left out of it or not left enough
      • They were promised something that they haven’t been given
      • It’s invalid or incorrect
      • The person didn’t have the mental capacity to make a Will
      • The person making the Will was forced to write it.

      Find out more on our page about Grounds For Contesting A Will.

      Whatever type of dispute you’re facing, our solicitors can talk you through your options and the best way to defend your position. Call us today on 0345 604 4895, or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

    • 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 when there is no Will and who can administer the estate.

      Under these rules, 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 between their spouse and children.

      Other family members, such as siblings and grandchildren, will only inherit when there is no surviving spouse or child.

      Someone can still contest an estate when there is no Will. If a person has not been provided for under the rules of intestacy, they might think they are still entitled to something and may be able to make a legal challenge.

      If a loved one has died without a Will and you are facing a dispute over their estate, we can help. Call us today on 0345 604 4895, or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

    • 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.

    • 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 Question

What Are The Counterarguments To A Challenge To A Will?

How you respond to a challenge to a Will very much depends on what kind of claim it is. In all cases, however, the aim would be to show that the Will is in fact valid, correct, and fair.

This could involve making a case to show that:

  • The testator had mental capacity and was acting of their own free will
  • The Will was drawn up with the correct legal protocol
  • The person making the claim had no reason to expect anything from the deceased, or
  • They’ve already been given enough.

We’ll be able to advise you on the best way to defend a challenge, depending on the nature of the dispute you’re facing.

Call us today for a free consultation on 0345 604 4895, or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

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Can The Estate Be Administered While A Will Is Being Contested?

If someone is contesting a Will, they may lodge what’s called a caveat. This means you can’t get a Grant of Probate to administer the estate until the dispute is settled and the Will has been confirmed as valid and fair.

If a caveat isn't lodged, the estate can be divided up. However, it’s usually agreed between the parties that any administration of the estate will be limited until the dispute is resolved. This can be frustrating, especially when crucial assets and property are tied up in the estate, but it avoids complication further down the line.

Sometimes it’s possible to remove a caveat so that the estate can be administered – we’ll be able to advise whether this is possible and what the best course of action is.

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.

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What Is The Inheritance Act?

The Inheritance Act 1975 allows someone to make a claim for financial provision if they’ve been left out of a Will or haven’t received enough. This is often the case for:

  • Partners who lived together but weren’t married or in a civil partnership
  • Estranged children and former spouses
  • People who were financially dependent on the deceased before they died.

The Inheritance Act is there to help people who don’t automatically inherit under the law but might reasonably expect to be provided for. Not everyone may agree on who this applies to, however.

If you’re facing an Inheritance Act claim that contradicts what your loved one would have wanted, we can help.

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.

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