Contentious probate and Inheritance Act claims

Around 60% of adults haven’t made a Will. Without one their estate will pass under the intestacy rules – often without providing for people who were expecting to receive a legacy or depend on having one.

But making a Will has its problems too. In order to make a Will, a person has to have the required mental capacity. If they suffer from dementia, for example, any Will they leave may not be valid. And what about coercion? Sadly, there are people who’ll place undue influence on someone to get them to leave a Will for their benefit.

You may require advice from a solicitor if:

  • You’ve been appointed as executor of an estate and received notification of an intended claim.
  • You think that someone who’s died lacked testamentary capacity when they made their Will.
  • You believe they didn’t know or approve of the contents of their Will.
  • You believe they didn’t sign their Will, or have it witnessed properly.
  • You believe they were pressured, coerced or unduly influenced in writing their Will or the distribution of the estate.
  • Someone has left a Will but hasn’t left you anything, or not enough.
  • Or, simply, you believe their Will doesn’t reflect their true wishes and intentions.

If you recognise any of the above, you should contact us immediately for advice. It is vital that you act swiftly to protect you, your family and the deceased’s wishes, because the time limits on these claims are strict.

In situations where a person has passed away without a Will and you have therefore not received anything or what you have received is insignificant, or their Will has not left you anything, or enough, contact us immediately for advice. If you were dependent on the deceased, you may be entitled to make a claim for a payment out of the estate. Typical allowances would be made for spouses or partners, children (including those not living with the deceased) and parents who relied on the deceased for money, although this is not exhaustive.

There’s a strict time limit of six months from the date of the Grant of Probate so it is essential that you do not delay in contacting us for advice. In most cases, legal costs can be claimed from the estate. Our very flexible funding options include deferred payment until you receive your inheritance. Get in contact with us today and we’ll provide initial advice on your position and set out your options for an agreed fixed fee.

Andrew King, Director Head of Dispute Resolution and squash challenger

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