Inheritance Disputes

Inheritance disputes, contentious probate or challenging a will are extremely emotive areas of law therefore it is imperative you seek expert legal advice.

Inheritance disputes can occur for numerous reasons such as fraud or a lack of metal capacity. You are likely to be feeling a bereft and emotional, although its hard to imagine how anyone would truly feel during such a time. On top of which you will be receiving letters from the solicitor dealing with the probate that you strongly disagree with, compounding the situation.

Making a claim or challenging a will

If you disagree or are concerned by the outcome of a will (probate) you do have options available to you. Depending on your relationship to the deceased you could have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 which allows certain family members, such as partners, spouses (including former), or dependents to ask the courts to adjust the will if it does not make appropriate financial provisions for them.

There are important time limits when bring these claims, therefore we suggest you take promote legal advice.

You also have the option to challenge the executors or trustees who you believe are in breach of their duties or to remove them as executors.

Disputing a will due to undue influence, fraud or mental capacity

In addition to the above you may feel concerned your loved one was unfairly influenced or was a victim of fraud. In these situations, you will need evidence such as being able to prove a pattern of behaviour, documents or a witness who will support your claim. In the case of mental capacity, you will need to prove the deceased would have been incapable of understanding what they were agreeing to in the event of their death.

If you would like to find out if you have a claim our disputes expert, senior solicitor Edward Powell would be happy to have a free initial chat with you. During this time, he will ask you for a brief outline of your claim.

Attwells always recommend before attending your first appointment with Edward that you bring the following:

  • A timeline of events
  • Any proof or evidence such as emails, text messages or letters received concerning your claim

Having this information will save you time and money. If you would like to arrange an appointment with Edward you can call his Colchester office number on 01206 239755 or email edward.powell@attwells.com.

Defending claims

Equally however if you are an executor, beneficiary or both of an estate you may have to defend an inheritance act claim. You will need to protect your position or inheritance and prove the will (subsequently the probate) is correct.

As an executor you will have obligations to provide information to the court regarding the deceased’s estate, this may include financial or health records. If you are not a claimant or a beneficiary then you should remain neutral. However, as a beneficiary you are not required to do so, although Attwells would always highly recommend you seek legal advice first.

Our disputes expert, senior solicitor Edward Powell would be happy to have a free initial chat with you, please call his Colchester office number on 01206 239755 or email edward.powell@attwells.com.