- Contested Probate Solicitors
- Valid Will Requirements
- Disputing A Will
- Caveats And Injunctions
- Grant Of Probate Explained
- Executors Duties
- Letters Of Administration
- Distribution With No Will
- Claims For Dependents
- Cut Out Of Will
CONTENTIOUS WILL SOLICITORS - CONTESTED PROBATE LAWYER
If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of having to go to court because of a contentious will you may have found out that not only is it a long process but also not all solicitors are able to see the whole process through to the end due to a lack of skills. What often happens is that you will start with a solicitor who is experienced at dealing with straightforward probate and everything will initially go smoothly however if someone thereafter contests the will, your case may have to be transferred over to the litigation department. You might think that your initial solicitor would be able to continue throughout the process and make sure everything is resolved – but this is rarely the case. Unless you have picked a specialist contentious will solicitor who is used to going to court to deal with litigated probate matters, as well as doing the normal non-contentious probate paperwork, you will normally find that your solicitor will pass everything over to someone else to deal with once it gets into court.
Probate solicitors litigating contentious wills handle the same types of disputes over and over again. The three issues that most often arise are the validity of the will, whether the will was lost or intentionally destroyed and whether the will provides adequate support for a dependant. Below is an overview of the state of the law as it relates to these three issues:
~ In order for a will to be valid, the testator must be over the age of 18 years, of sound mind and free from undue influence. The testator must sign the document, or acknowledged that they have signed the document, in the presence of two witnesses who then also sign the document. The witnesses must not be beneficiaries, or they will lose any inheritance bequeathed to them in the will.
~ Sometimes the deceased’s will cannot be located. When a will is lost, the proposed executor must apply to the Registry to have a copy of the will accepted in place of the original. Accepting a copy of the will sounds like a reasonable solution. However, there may be a presumption that the will is not lost but was rather intentionally destroyed by the testator as a means of revoking it. Resolving cases of lost wills requires a full court hearing. Both sides prevent evidence before a judge who weighs the facts and grants judgment in favour of one side.
~ When an individual passes away and leaves dependants behind, those dependants have the right to continued support by means of the deceased’s assets. If a dependant, such as a spouse, partner, child or mentally disabled person, is not left with adequate support under the terms of the will, that person can take action in court to claim some or all of the deceased’s assets.
Contentious Will Solicitors
Our contentious will solicitors have the ability to handle court hearings as well as all the other issues that may come up as a result of a disputed will. No matter whether your situation is complex and involves a contentious will or is a simple straightforward matter, our probate solicitors are here to help. We offer advice at no cost and you can then evaluate that advice before deciding whether or not to proceed. All you need to do is call our helpline or complete the online form or email our offices to get legal advice from an expert solicitor who understands your situation. Regardless of what the testamentary dispute is about, it is vital that you have the right kind of probate solicitor on your side to ensure that you are properly represented.