CONTESTED PROBATE LAWYER - SPECIALISED LEGAL ADVICE
Typically solicitors in the United Kingdom choose one of two career paths from which they do not vary. Either the solicitor does litigation and courtroom work, or he doesn't. A contested probate lawyer deals with a highly specialised area of the law. These solicitors are a rare breed among their colleagues, having experience with both contentious and non contentious legal actions.
In matters of probate law, experience both inside and outside of the courtroom is necessary. You are taking a gamble if you sacrifice knowledge of probate law for litigation experience. It takes a specialist contested probate lawyer to handles all aspects of disputing a will, objecting to probate or taking action against an individual who has not properly fulfilled their role as executor.
Every member of our team is an expert contested probate lawyer and they are qualified to take on all cases of contentious probate, be it objecting to a will on the grounds of invalidity or dealing with a claim to the estate made by a non-beneficiary or one of the testator's dependents. Our team of solicitors is also experienced in handling caveats, which are legally-issued notices that can have the effect of delaying an executor's appointment, or preventing it altogether. Additionally, we can take action to remove executors and administrators who are negligent or fraudulent in carrying out their responsibilities. Similarly, we can bring a legal action to remove an executor or administrator whose appointment is inequitable.
If you are dealing with a legal action related to a contentious will, contact us today for free advice. Simply telephone us on our helpline or complete the contact form. You will be contacted by an experienced contested probate lawyer. This initial consultation is free of charge and there are no further obligations.
Typically our contested probate lawyer experts are able to provide on-the-spot advice about the following matters:-
With the rise of DIY will kits, cases of disputed probate are increasing, too. A contested probate lawyer can represent a potential beneficiary who is challenging a disputed will in a court of law. The law dictates specific requirements for a valid will. Failing to meet any one of these requirements can invalidate the entire document. The requirements of a valid will include:-
- the testator must be over the age of 18
- the testator must not be under the undue influence of any person
- the testator be of sound mind and must be fully aware of the meaning of the document
- the testator must sign the will in the presence of two independent witnesses, who then must also sign the will themselves
- a witness to the signing of the will who is also a beneficiary will lose their inheritance
In the case of a lost will, a contested probate lawyer may be able to help the proposed executor obtain a grant of probate through a copy of the will. However, an individual who was a beneficiary of an earlier will but not of the will in question may challenge the validity of the copy. The prior beneficiary may try to prove that the will is not lost, but was rather destroyed by the testator as an act of revocation. Testimony from credible witnesses and detailed documentation are the types of evidence necessary to win a challenge to a lost will. Note that it is up to the beneficiaries of the prior will to prove that the will was intentionally destroyed.
Dependents, such as a partner, minor or mentally disabled person, have a legal right to continued support after the testator's death. Dependents of the deceased who are not sufficiently provided for in the will can challenge the will in court. The court can order that the dependent receive support from the assets of the estate on the grounds that the deceased failed to properly discharge a legal responsibility.
Sometimes the executor or administrator of an estate objects to the Inheritance Tax assessment performed by the Capital Taxes Office. In these cases, we may be able to assist in one of two ways. Using a deed of variation of the will may be appropriate, and we can also provide representation to the individual negotiating with the Capital Taxes Office.