Contentious Probate

Contentious Probate 

Probate is the process undertaken when someone dies. Either they made a will and that’s followed as to who receives their assets. Or they died intestate and a legal criteria is used regarding distributing assets.

Contentious probate is sorting out problems regarding the will or an intestate estate and who inherits.

Problems include

  • Challenging the will’s validity
  • The will's interpretation
  • How the will was constructed
  • Lack of testamentary capacity to make a will
  • Claims from a disgruntled beneficiary
  • Problems against the estate as to who inherits what
  • Issues with distributing assets
  • Problems with the executors
  • Disagreements over the instructions given when making the will

All wills should be checked when probate is being undertaken to see if they are valid. Concerns which often arise might be -

  • Did the will maker have sufficient testamentary capacity at the time of making their will?
  • Does they will have a valid attestation clause?
  • Is this really what the will maker intended?
  • Are there are reasons to think the will maker did not think about the consequences of the will?

Bringing a claim to challenge is made on the basis there is sufficient evidence to support the claim. We are happy to review situations where claims may be made.

Claims under the Family inheritance provisions

English law recognises that there may be circumstances where someone making their will needs to make provisions for someone to whom they are owed an obligation. These might be where someone was living with deceased prior to their death and they did not make a will or take them into consideration in a will they made.

Under the rules of intestacy, it is unlikely that that person would inherit from the estate of the person who has just died.

Alternatively, did they made a will that did not include that particular person. Here the person who has been left out of the will would need to make a claim under the inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependence) Act 1975. 

The starting point is does the person who has just died they live in England and Wales?

Does the person who may bring a claim against the estate fall within one of the classes of being someone who can claim against the estate?

This includes for example, the spouse or civil partner of the deceased or their former spouse or civil partner. A child of the deceased. Any person who was in a marriage or civil partnership with the deceased's or whether the deceased stood in the role of being a parent of the person bringing a claim. Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly by the deceased. Question is, does the will fail to make reasonable financial provision for this particular person?

If there is no reasonable financial provision or the rules of intestacy do not allow for a reasonable financial provision for them, what might be an appropriate financial provision for this person?

It is quite important to look at the size of an estate as some claimants may not be able to succeed in their claim against smaller estates.

Make An Enquiry To Our Dedicated Probate Team

Call Craybeck Law on 01268 947044 to discuss your Contentious Probate matter.


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