WILL OBJECTIONS – DISPUTED & CONTENTIOUS PROBATE
Losing a loved one is a difficult experience. At a time when you are trying to cope with your grief, the last thing you want to deal with is disputes over the deceased's will. Unfortunately, will objections are common occurrences. Most wills are contested for one of two main reasons. The most common reason is someone coming forward to argue that the will is invalid. Another reason is that the will did not make adequate provisions for a dependent of the deceased. A deceased's dependents are entitled to continued support and can bring a legal action if the will does not provide for such.
If you are facing the possibility of will objections, you should seek assistance from a solicitor as soon as possible. Acting swiftly is critical to bringing a successful claim.
In the United Kingdom, the law sets forth a series of detailed rules for drafting and executing a valid will. Close attention must be paid to ensure that each and every one of these rules is followed. Failure to adhere to even one of these legal requirements could invalidate the entire will, opening up the door for legal action due to will objections.
If the deceased's will is found to be invalid, then it is the same as if no will had been made at all. The laws of intestacy will be applied to determine who will inherit from the estate and how much they are entitled to. In some cases, there are no qualifying relatives and the estate will be claimed by the Crown.
As explained above, to avoid will objections, you must adhere to specific guidelines in order to create a legally enforceable will. The testator should be over the age of eighteen and of sound mind. The will should be signed in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the will themselves. Note that beneficiaries should not serve as witnesses or they will lose their inheritance. You also want to avoid any appearance of undue influence which could invalidate the will.
Cases where the original will is lost can be some of the most complicated will objections of all. Questions arise as to whether the will is lost or whether the deceased destroyed the will with the intention of revoking it. Typically this issue is raised by someone who was a beneficiary of an earlier will but not of the will that is lost. This person would want the court to find that the will was revoked so that the earlier will goes into effect.
In cases of lost wills, it becomes the executor's responsibility to prove to the court that the will was indeed lost and not intentionally destroyed. If the executor is successful in proving the will was lost, then a copy of the will can be used to distribute the deceased's assets according to their instructions.
Our solicitors take cases on a no win no fee basis. If we do not win your case, then you pay no legal fees or expenses of any kind. Bringing your case is entirely risk free. Contact us today for free legal advice about any matter related to wills and probate law. Simply fill out the contact form or call our helpline.