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Will Disputes Solicitors

Will disputes are legal conflicts that arise when individuals contest the validity or interpretation of a deceased person's Will. These disputes can involve various issues such as the authenticity of the Will, claims of undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity, and disagreements over the distribution of assets among beneficiaries.

Common grounds for contesting a Will include improper execution, fraud, or mistakes in the drafting process. In such cases, the parties involved may seek resolution through negotiation, mediation, or, if necessary, litigation in the courts to ensure a fair and just distribution of the deceased's estate.

At Stephen Rimmer Solicitors, our team can provide expert guidance and advice on Will disputes, ensuring that you understand your rights and options.

Our solicitors can help assess the strength of your claim and advise on the likelihood of success. We can also negotiate on your behalf to reach settlements or engage in mediation to resolve disputes amicably.

If necessary, our solicitors can represent you in court proceedings, presenting your case effectively.

Our knowledge of estate and inheritance laws, as well as our experience in handling contentious matters, enables us to navigate the complexities of Will disputes and strive for a favourable outcome for our clients.

How we can help with Will disputes

Will disputes are never easy to deal with. Our Will disputes lawyers can represent you throughout the process, providing clear and pragmatic advice and making sure we are available to answer any questions as they arise.

Our Will disputes services include the following:

  • Correcting mistakes in a Will
  • Disputes over improperly executed Wills
  • Disputes over the mental capacity of a testator
  • Disputes over undue influence on the deceased
  • Will fraud and forgery
  • Professional negligence claims against Will writers

Consult our Will disputes solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert Will disputes advice, please contact a member of our Wills team for a no obligation discussion:

Will disputes FAQs

There are several grounds on which a Will can be contested. These include:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity: If the testator (person making the Will) was not of sound mind or didn’t fully understand the implications of their actions at the time of making the Will, it can be challenged.
  • Undue influence: If it can be shown that the testator was coerced, manipulated, or unduly influenced by another person when making the Will, it can be contested.
  • Lack of valid execution: A Will must meet specific legal requirements, such as being in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two independent witnesses. Failure to adhere to these formalities can render the Will invalid.
  • Fraud or forgery: If there is evidence of fraud or forgery, such as someone impersonating the testator or tampering with the Will, it can be challenged.
  • Mistake: If there are errors or ambiguities in the Will that result in an unfair distribution of assets, it can be contested.

It is important to consult a solicitor experienced in Will disputes to assess the specific circumstances and determine the most appropriate grounds for contesting a Will.

While it is not a legal requirement to have a solicitor to contest a Will, seeking professional legal advice is highly recommended. Will disputes can be complex and emotionally charged, and having a solicitor can provide several benefits.

Our solicitors possess expertise in Wills and probate law, understand the legal processes involved, and can guide you through the complexities of the case.

We can assess the strength of your claim, gather evidence, negotiate on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.

Our knowledge and experience significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

The success rate of contesting a Will varies depending on the specific circumstances of each case. While some Will disputes result in favourable outcomes for the claimants, others may not.

Success often depends on the strength of the grounds for contesting the Will, the availability of substantial evidence supporting the claim, and the expertise of legal representation.

Factors such as the validity of the Will, testamentary capacity, undue influence, and the quality of legal arguments can also significantly impact the outcome.

It is essential to consult with an experienced solicitor who can assess the merits of your case and provide guidance on the likelihood of success based on the available evidence.

In the UK, the costs involved in contesting a Will can be paid from the deceased’s estate. If the dispute is successfully resolved or litigated, the court may order that the costs be paid by the losing party.

However, in some cases, particularly if the dispute is deemed unreasonable or lacking merit, the court may order the party contesting the Will to bear their own costs.

It is important to note that the distribution of costs can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the court’s discretion.

Seeking legal advice from a solicitor can provide clarity on the potential costs and how they may be allocated.

Contesting a Will can have various consequences. Firstly, it can cause emotional strain and strain relationships among family members and beneficiaries.

Contesting a Will can also incur significant legal costs, which may be payable from the estate or borne by the party contesting the Will.

Lastly, it can prolong the distribution of assets and delay the probate process. Contesting a Will may not always result in a successful outcome, and the court’s decision may not align with the desired outcome.

It is crucial to consider the potential consequences and seek legal advice before deciding to contest a Will.

In general, an executor does not have the authority to directly challenge a Will.

The executor’s role is to carry out the testator’s wishes as stated in the Will and administer the estate accordingly. However, if the executor believes there are legitimate grounds to contest the Will, they can step down from their role and become a beneficiary or interested party in the dispute.

In such cases, they can engage legal representation and participate in the Will contest like any other party.

It’s important to consult with a solicitor to understand the options available and navigate the process appropriately.

It is possible to contest a Will after probate, but it becomes more challenging. Once probate is granted, the Will is considered legally valid, and the executor can distribute the estate according to its terms.

To contest a Will after probate, one must apply for a “caveat” to prevent the distribution. However, this must be done before the grant of probate is issued.

If the grant has already been issued, challenging the Will requires proving exceptional circumstances or applying for a court order to set aside the grant. It is advisable to seek legal advice promptly to assess the viability of contesting a Will after probate.

A beneficiary can challenge a Will under certain circumstances. If a beneficiary believes that the Will is invalid, unfair, or that their entitlements have been compromised, they can contest it.

Beneficiaries can challenge a Will by raising concerns about issues such as lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, or improper execution. It is important for beneficiaries to seek legal advice to assess the strength of their case and understand the options available.

Our solicitors can guide you through the process, negotiate on your behalf, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

The time limit for contesting a Will is generally within six months from the date of the grant of probate. This time limit is known as the “limitation period.” However, there are exceptions that may allow a Will to be contested after this period, such as cases involving fraud or if there is evidence of wrongdoing.

It is advisable to seek legal advice as early as possible to understand the specific time constraints applicable to your situation, as well as to gather and preserve evidence necessary for the contestation.

Our Will disputes solicitors’ fees

It is our aim to provide excellent quality legal advice and outstanding client service at a competitive rate.

For more complex matters such as family Will disputes, our Wills solicitors will charge according to agreed hourly rates. We will tell you the hourly rates charged by everyone we expect to work on your case and give a realistic estimate of your likely overall costs.

Consult our Will dispute solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises clients across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

For clear, expert advice on challenging wills, please contact a member of our Wills team for a no obligation discussion:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.