Will Challenges or Challenges Under the Intestacy Rules
Losing someone is painful enough, but when you face a challenge to your inheritance or you feel unfairly excluded from inheriting, this can add to the already difficult and stressful time you are going through.
We understand that it can be very upsetting if you discover someone close to you has favoured another family member or friend or has not protected you financially on their death. In many cases, this can have very real consequences for your ability to meet your needs, especially if you were financially dependent upon the deceased.
At WMK solicitors, we can help you with situations such as where you were:
- Left out of a Will
- Received an inheritance that is not sufficient for your needs
- Failed to inherit under the rules of intestacy
- You are concerned about the validity of the Will
- You believe the person making the Will was pressured or coerced into changing their Will
- You need to defend a claim against a Will or estate for any reason
Our Will disputes experts have decades of experience dealing with both straightforward and complex disputes. As such, we can quickly get to grips with your situation and provide clear, compassionate guidance on your legal position, including the likelihood of a successful claim and the process for making or defending a Will dispute.
With strong skills in alternative dispute resolution, we can typically resolve such claims amicably, saving you time, money and added emotional distress, as well as helping to avoid damage to important relationships.
However, if a dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, then one of the parties must issue Court proceedings. This is something we will be happy to assist with.
Cost is an important consideration when thinking about making or fighting a Will or estate dispute. Our team will always be upfront about the likely costs involved, so you can make a sensible decision about whether the cost of challenging or defending a claim is proportionate.
Speak to our contentious probate solicitors in Sidcup, the London Borough of Bexley, Kent
For expert advice on challenging a Will, making a claim against an estate or defending a Will or estate dispute, please speak in confidence to one of our team now by calling 020 8300 9321 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of Wills and estates disputes we can assist with
Challenging the validity of a Will
If you believe that the person making the Will was being put under pressure or duress by another person to write their Will in a particular way, or they were not of sound mind at the time of making the Will, you can potentially make a claim against the Estate.
For such a Will challenge to succeed, you would need to be able to prove that either:
- Had the testator been of sound mind or not been under pressure from another, they would have left you an inheritance
- Had the testator not made a Will at all, you would have inherited something under the intestacy rules
You may also be able to challenge a Will if you believe it was not properly executed (e.g. it was not correctly witnessed or signed) or if you believe the Will is fraudulent (i.e. it was made by a third party for their benefit, not by the supposed testator).
Inheritance Act claims
If you have been totally excluded from a Will or by the intestacy rules, then you may be able to claim for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
You must act quickly as a claim has to be issued in the Court within six months of the Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration where there is no Will). In these proceedings you do not need to prove that the person who died was mentally incapable of making a Will or that they were coerced into making a Will for example.
Unmarried partners left out under intestacy rules
If you are not married and your partner died without making a Will and you were financially dependent upon them but under the intestacy rules you will not inherit anything. We can advise you whether or not you can make an Inheritance Act claim against the estate on the grounds that you were dependent upon them.
Get in touch with our contentious probate solicitors in Sidcup
If you would like more information about making or defending a Will or estate challenge, or you would like to set up an initial appointment, please contact our team:
- Chris Elliott
- Senior Partner, COLP, Head of Litigation