If you are disputing a will, you must make sure that you have the grounds to do so. When a will dispute happens, some of the reasons may involve fraud, undue influence, or mental incapacity. Claims are also raised that involve invalid executions or the absence of a will.
For example, survivors may dispute the absence of a will or rules of intestacy if they do not believe that they were given sufficient provision. People who can raise this type of dispute normally include spouses, civil partners, children, co-habitees, or dependents of the deceased.
That is why you need the support of contentious probate solicitors if you believe that you were not provided for sufficiently from a decedent’s estate. Experienced solicitors who handle will disputes normally try to achieve a settlement out of court.
Therefore, make sure that you choose a solicitor and firm that has the needed background and experience. This experience should extend to disputes that arise between beneficiaries and executors as well as people who expect to inherit but have not been included.
Consult with a Solicitor as Soon as Possible
Because strict time limitations are enforced for claims that involve contentious probate, it is imperative that you seek advice from a legal specialist as soon as possible. Contentious probate is defined as a dispute that emerges over the distribution of a decedent’s estate. Again, most people will raise a dispute if they feel that they did not receive what was promised or they are concerned about the way a will was created.
For example, for a will to be considered valid, it must have been made in writing without undue influence and voluntarily. The person who created the will should have been over the age of 18 and in sound mind during the document’s creation. The will should have been signed in the presence of two witnesses who signed the will form as well.
The primary piece of legislation that governs contentious probate is the Inheritance Act 1975. If a claim is made that a will did not provide adequate financial provision, the Act establishes who can make this type of claim.
The People Who Can Dispute a Will
According to the act, the following people can make a claim:
- The spouse of the decedent
- A former spouse of the decedent, if he or she has not remarried
- A partner who lived with the decedent for a minimum of two years right before the decedent’s death
- A child of the decedent or an individual who was treated as a child of the decedent in his or her family
- Someone who was partially or entirely supported financially by the deceased
If you can add yourself to the above list and feel that you have a viable legal claim, it is in your best interest to consult with a solicitor now.