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Will & Probate Disputes

At Poole Alcock, our expertise in this sector has allowed us to help clients from all walks of life resolve contentious probate disputes quickly and cost effectively.

When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want is a family feud or an ongoing legal battle. We will explain the merits of a potential claim, cost consequences and time scales.

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Challenging a Will or probate

When an individual passes away, be it testate (having left a Will) or intestate (having left no Will), disputes can arise for many reasons.

Disputes between separating parties may surround who owns the property, who will retain the property or whether the property should be sold.

In the case of a testate situation, you may want to challenge a Will’s validity for any number of reasons, including a potential mistake, lack of capacity or undue influence at the time the Will was made. On the other hand, an intestate situation may see disagreements across potential heirs, the valuation of assets or even disputed tax liability.

You may also feel that the deceased did not make reasonable provision for you when they should have done. This can commonly arise where couples have lived together for years, but never married, and no Will is left by the deceased – in which case, that individual would receive nothing without challenging the situation.

 Whatever the dispute, you need expert advice from solicitors you can trust. That’s where we come in.

Why engage with solicitors to help with contested probate?

Whilst contesting probate can be a daunting prospect due to its complex nature, whether the situation is testate or intestate, guidance from a qualified and experienced solicitor will ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Whether you are the person looking to mount the claim, a beneficiary who has been notified of a claim being made, or a personal representative who is dealing with a claim, our experts can assist whatever the position.

Support from a legal expert is crucial to ensure any necessary documentation is completed and filed accurately. They will represent your interests throughout each stage, help you to understand your responsibilities and, most importantly, advise on the most appropriate next steps to reach an understanding that suits all parties. We will be happy to advise on the options available to you, including Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Specialists in probate disputes

You can count on us to find a solution that suits your specific needs. With experience working with both close and distant family members, executors and trustees, the dedicated solicitors at Poole Alcock are here to help resolve your dispute with sensitivity, ease and expertise.

If you would benefit from advice on your legal options, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at any of our Cheshire based offices. Our team of friendly specialist solicitors are on hand to help you through these difficult times.

Contested probate FAQs

On what areas can you contest a Will or probate?

There are many reasons why you may want to contest a Will, these include:

• Questions of capacity

• Questions of how valid the execution of a Will has been

• Questions surrounding undue influence / coercion regarding a Will

• Questions of fraud or forgery surrounding the Will

• Questions regarding the ‘fairness’ of a Will’s contents

• Questions regarding the expectations of inheritance

• Questions regarding who should administer the estate

• Questions regarding the recipients of the estate

Can I contest a Will after probate has been granted?

Yes, you can contest a Will even after probate has been granted if you are able to prove that the Will was invalid. However, subject to the claim you are looking to make, there may be a time limit to this so do get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are thinking about this type of claim.

Is there a time limit to dispute a Will or probate?

The time you have to dispute a Will or probate will depend on your situation and what your dispute regards. Generally, if you are making a claim to question the validity of a Will there is no time limit; however we would always recommend claiming as soon as possible.

Financial claims made under the Inheritance Act have a time limit of six months from the date Grant of Probate was made. Whilst there is the possibility of bringing a claim after this time, permission of the Court is required as an initial step, with good reasons  as to why there has been a delay, so again, the sooner you speak to a lawyer about your options the better.

Will I have to go to Court when contesting probate?

This will depend entirely on your individual situation, however typically you will need to attend Court when disputing the contents of a Will. You solicitor will let you know in advance if attendance is necessary or if they can attend on your behalf.

Will I need to provide evidence when contesting probate?

Evidence can provide crucial to contested probate and a Court will expect this to be extensive to back your claim. For example, if you are claiming a deceased lacked capacity at the time the Will was drawn, medical documentation should be provided to prove this.

Meet our contested probate specialists

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