Our Services

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Wills and inheritance (Contentious Probate)

We help resolve disputes concerning:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975
    • In this country there is no forced heirship. Any man or woman has complete freedom not only to make a Will but also to select the persons to benefit from that Will. Consequently, it sometimes happens that persons who may have an expectation of benefitting from a Will are disappointed when they find out after the Testator’s death that they were not named in the Will.
    • If this has happened to you or if you are disappointed as to the size of the gift made to you under a Will there may be a way of redressing this and, if you fall within one of the prescribed categories of applicants and act with alacrity (as the time period for action is short), our experienced lawyers can advise you as to whether you may have grounds to make an application for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
    • Conversely, we can advise personal representatives and beneficiaries under a Will when served with a Claim Form or faced with the prospect of a claim being made under the Inheritance Act.

 

  • Will disputes – usually on the grounds of undue influence, fraud or allegations that the testator lacked sufficient mental capacity.
    • This is, perhaps, the most easily understood expression that covers a number of different types of disputes over Wills.
    • A disappointed family member may wish to challenge a Will on a variety of grounds such as lack of testamentary capacity, knowledge and approval, duress or undue influence. Alternatively, it might be that a beneficiary named in a Will requires advice when faced with a hostile claim from a disappointed member of a family or the personal representatives need advice as to the position they should adopt in a dispute between members of the family over a Will.
    • Alternatively, there may be a dispute between several beneficiaries named in a Will over their inheritance or as to the meaning and effect of gifts contained in a Will.
    • There is, in fact, a multiplicity of circumstances in which quality advice, based on years of experience, may be required in order to find the right solution.

 

  • Claims over the making and implementation of powers of attorney, particularly where it is perceived that an attorney is not acting in the best interests of the donor.
  • Disputes between executors, trustees and beneficiaries.
  • Proprietary claims – typically where a person claims that a promise made by the testator is binding.