Contesting a Will.
Our specialist Disputed Probate Team offer clear advice on all aspects of Wills, Probate and Tax planning, Dispute Resolution and Property Law.
Dealing with the affairs of a loved one can be difficult and complex.
We're experienced in dealing with complex situations.
If you believe you have grounds to contest a will, we strongly advise you to seek expert legal advice. We can provide you with the comprehensive advice and guidance you need to resolve even the most complex of situations.
Whilst making a Will is the best way to ensure your personal belongings are distributed according to your wishes, we are all too aware of the issues that arise when a Will is not made correctly and disputes occur over the validity of a Will or Trust.
Our specialist Disputed Probate Team draws together solicitor's who have expert knowledge on all aspects of Wills, Probate and Tax planning, Dispute Resolution and Property Law, providing you with the comprehensive advice and guidance you need to resolve even the most complex of situations. The Team are able to provide comprehensive advice and support on a number of issues in this area including:
Disputes between executors and beneficiaries
Bringing or defending claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – some family members and dependents are eligible to make a claim when someone has died, should the deceased's will not make reasonable financial provision to support them
Promises, assurances and conduct - instances where claims can be made where assurances by the deceased were made which are not reflected by either the relevant will or the intestacy rules
Contentious applications to the Court of Protection including applications in relation to Statutory Wills
Professional negligence in relation to wills, trusts and/or estates
The Firm are proud to be Corporate Partners of The Institute of Legacy Management (ILM), a membership body for legacy professionals which works with those responsible for the administration of donors' final gifts to charitable organisations.
Working With Our Service Team
Our dedicated legal experts are highly specialised in this area of law and are able to provide comprehensive legal advice and guidance to resolve even the most complex of situations.
- Kim Mears
If you have an enquiry in relation to Challenging a Will or simply want to speak to a member of our expert team, please get in touch.
Legal 500 2022: The Disputed Probate Team were recognised as a leading team in the West Midlands.
Angie Manley and Kimberly Mears lead a specialised team at FBC Manby Bowdler LLP that deals with all aspects of disputed probate and trust work. The team is well-placed to advise on a broad range of complex, high-value and multi-jurisdictional matters with experience in Court of Appeal proceedings as well as issues surrounding challenges to wills, 1975 Act claims, breach of trust actions and emergency injunction applications. It frequently advises beneficiaries and personal representatives on all contentious issues that arise during the course of the administration of an estate or a trust.
There are certain legal technicalities which a Will must comply with in order to be valid. Assuming these have been properly adhered to reasons you may decide to contest a will are:-
- You believe the Testator did not have sufficient mental capacity to understand what they were signing.
- You believe the Testator did not have sufficient knowledge about the estate or the contents of the will they were signing and therefore could not give approval.
- You believe the will was written and signed under Undue Influence
- You believe the will is Fraudulent or Forged.
There is no age requirement in order to contest a Will. Minors have the same rights as adults and are able to commence claims and defend claims against an estate. If a minor would like to bring forward a claim, they will require a “Litigation Friend” who will be appointed by the Court to act on their behalf within proceedings. A Litigation friend has a duty to the minor to act in their best interests, which will often include seeking legal advice and liaising closely with the minor to ensure that they understand the progress of a case.
Whilst there is no time limit to challenge a will it is essential that the grounds for the challenge are investigated as soon as possible to secure the required evidence. Urgent action may also be required to prevent a grant of probate from being obtained or to protect estate funds and assets whilst your claim is being investigated. It is therefore important that you should take legal advice in respect of your will challenge as soon as you can from an expert in this area of law.
- You may be entitled to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- You must fit into one of the accepted categories of claimant to be able to claim under this Act.
- You must bring a claim within 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- It is therefore important that you should take legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity from a solicitor experienced in this area of law.
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Ms Mears was most supportive and understanding. She gave clear advice and always responded quickly to my questions, would definitely use her services again.
We would like to thank you personally for all the hard work you did on our behalf regarding Beryl's will. We greatly appreciated the fact that you always made yourself available to us when particular problems arose and this helped us to deal with what could have been a very stressful period in our lives. Indeed, we felt that the atmosphere at the mediation session in London was more relaxed than we could ever have hoped for - and with a good result! We were entirely satisfied at all times with the way you dealt with our dispute of the will and we hope that the outstanding items can be settled before long.
Mr & Mrs Pucknell
I found Kimberley Mears to be very pleasant, attentive and very clear in informing of my options in relation to my case. I would recommend FBC to a friend or family member with confidence.
From the first time I met Angie, I felt confident that she was right for the job. She was friendly, competent, professional and always kept me informed on the process. Would engage her again without hesitation. Great lady and great service.