Contesting a Will

When somebody dies, their estate should be distributed according to the provisions set down in their Will, or under the intestacy laws if they did not leave a Will. If you feel that you need advice in contesting a Will or you find yourself involved in a dispute, the specialist Wills and Probate team at Ackroyd Legal can help you.

You can contest a Will if you believe that you have, or you may have a beneficial interest in the estate of the deceased (the testator). It is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity if you are considering contesting a Will, and your specialist solicitor can help to ascertain if you have a valid claim.

If this is the case, you can apply for a ‘caveat’ which will delay the distribution of the estate until the matter is resolved. The caveat will be granted for six months, although this can be extended.

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If the dispute cannot be resolved under the caveat, it may be necessary to go to court, and claims such as these are usually based around one of the following:

Every case is different, and the first step is to obtain legal advice to determine whether you may have a valid claim in contesting a Will. Please contact a member of our team in confidence for advice and we will be able to help you.

Contentious probate arises when there is a dispute over the validity of the Will of a deceased person (the testator), or regarding the way in which their estate is distributed. For example, a dispute may arise if you feel that the Will did not provide for you in the way that you had been promised, or because the Will itself could be invalid due to the circumstances in which it was made.

Every case of contentious probate is unique, and the legal experts at Ackroyd Legal have diverse experience in this area. We fully understand that disputes often give rise to conflict within the family, and we fully appreciate the stressful nature of these situations, especially when family members are involved. We will handle your case with sensitivity, providing straightforward advice and looking after your interests at all times.

You can contest a Will if it was not made legally or if there is another issue that renders it invalid. A valid Will must meet all of the following criteria:

If you do wish to issue a claim against an estate, this will be subject to strict time limits and you must make your claim within six months of the Grant of Probate, or of the letters of administration if the person died without leaving a Will. It is important to act quickly because the process will become more complex if Probate has already been granted.

If you feel that the testator did not make appropriate financial provision for you when they made their Will, you may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, which sets down who is entitled to pursue a claim, including:

It will be necessary to establish the grounds upon which you are making your claim, meaning that you must show that one of the following applies to your case:

If you feel that you may have a claim against the estate of someone who is deceased, Ackroyd Legal can help you. Many cases of contentious probate are decided upon their facts, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, and our solicitors specialising in Wills and Probate law can advise you on the next step based on your own individual circumstances. Please contact us and we will be very happy to help you.

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