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Contested Probate and how to challenge a Will

Posted on Wednesday, 8th May 2013 by

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Contentious Probate claims are one of the biggest areas of litigation and put simply, are claims challenging the validity of a will when the testator passes away and in some cases, the distribution of the assets in the testator’s estate.

The effect of a contested probate claim on beneficiaries and executors cannot be underestimated and can be brought on many grounds, including:

–          a failure to comply with the ‘Golden Rule.  This is the duty on the person who drafted the will to check the testator’s capacity to ensure the will is valid;

–          delays in the preparation of the will to the detriment of the testator and /or beneficiaries;

–          undue influence on a testator by a party benefiting from the will;

–          failure to validly execute the will.

It is never easy to make the decision to challenge a deceased’s will; however it is important for those considering the same to obtain advice to protect their position in respect of pursuing a potential claim.

Another common action against a deceased’s estate is under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.  Claimants who find themselves in a position where they were financially dependent upon the deceased but were not provided for under the will adequately or at all, may be entitled to make a claim.  It is important to keep in mind a claim against a person’s estate for reasonable financial provision can only be made before the end of the period of six months from the date on which a grant of representation is taken out.

This means claims against an estate must be issued at Court within 6 months of either the grant of probate or the letters of administration being obtained, failing which, the Court may refuse permission for a claim to be made.

If you are in a position where you are unsure whether you are able to challenge a deceased’s will, contact us for a no obligation discussion on 0800 999 8880.

Frances Jacobs is one of our Solicitors in Leicester, who are all experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Paul Stubbs - Litigation
Paul Stubbs - Litigation
paul.s@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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