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The aftermath of losing a loved one is distressing and emotional, which is only worsened by any disputes concerning the distribution of the person’s estate. Contentious probate solicitors assist with resolving these disputes.
In recent years, there has been a steady increase in contentious probate cases, and many more people are challenging Wills.
This article will look at conditions under which you might raise a probate dispute, as well as any other questions you might have.
What are common reasons for probate disputes?
There are different types of disputes that can be raised regarding a person’s estate, including:
- How a Will has been interpreted
- The value of the assets in the estate
- If an executor has mismanaged the assets in the estate
- Any disagreements between the beneficiaries of the Will
- If there was no Will and a person wanted to challenge how the estate was divided between beneficiaries
- If there is concern regarding the validity of the Will.
Furthermore, complications can arise if there are international assets or multiple properties involved. Unique challenges can present themselves if an estate has a complex wealth structure incorporating trusts or rural estates, for example.
What conditions can I challenge a Will under?
To challenge a Will, you must have a valid legal reason. There are several of these grounds by which a Will can be contested.
Some of these grounds include:
- Mental capacity
Suppose you believe the deceased did not have sufficient mental capacity when they made their Will; you could apply to contest it. Capacity is measured under the Mental Health Act 2005. A person is considered to lack capacity if, at the time in question, they could not make decisions for themselves because of an impairment or a disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain.
- Lack of understanding
If there were suspicious circumstances whereby the deceased:
– had a speech impediment
– was hard of hearing
– was visually impaired
– had low literacy levels
– was frail, unwell or vulnerable in other ways that were complex or unusual: this may mean that the deceased did not correctly understand or approve the content of the Will.
Other potential grounds on which someone could contest a Will are:
- Forgery and fraud
- Undue Influence
To find out about these grounds in more detail, click here.
How to resolve Will or Probate disputes
As with any dispute, it is best practice to instruct expert solicitors early on; to reduce the likelihood of needing to involve the courts, which is both costly and time-consuming. Seeking early advice will also help you understand whether you have a legitimate case. Upon speaking with your expert Wills and probate solicitor, you will ensure that every detail is covered and that your legal rights are fully covered and respected.
At Jackson Longe Solicitors, we are the team you need to support you through a distressing and overwhelming time and where possible, we will always work with you to source a solution whereby the case is dealt with outside of court.
Specialist Probate Solicitor
At Jackson Longe, we have an experienced team of probate and estate administration solicitors on hand to offer legal advice pertaining to your individual circumstances.
We have assisted various clients over the years with varying inheritance, probate and Wills disputes meaning we are seasoned in this type of complex area of law.
Contentious Probate Richmond
At Jackson Longe Solicitors, we can provide clear, professional advice regarding your contentious or non-contentious probate matter.