The death of a loved one is always a difficult and traumatic time. Many things need to be organised and done all at a time when you are grieving. This is a very stressful time for you, your family and your loved ones.
A disputed Will can make this period considerably worse. If you have been left out of a Will or not given your fair share then your only route is to dispute it. If someone disputes a Will in which you receive the bulk of the estate then you will need to defend it. This is a difficult and complex situation but sometimes it is necessary.
Disputed Wills are becoming more common. Individuals are becoming more aware of their rights and no longer just quietly go along with what is in the Will. Many people are financially challenged which also makes it more likely that someone will dispute a Will.
If you want to dispute a Will or defend one then there is no substitute for Else Solicitors. You will find that we are not like other legal firms. In addition to our proven track record and high level expertise, our dispute resolution team is also sympathetic and understanding of your needs at this difficult time.
If you are considering disputing a Will or you need to defend one, then this is typically due to one of the below scenarios:
- Claims made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.
- A disputed Will based on allegations of invalid procedure or fraud. A recent case concerned three women who split a man’s estate by creating a fraudulent Will.
- Disputed Wills based on allegations of mental capacity. A case was finally resolved in April 2016 after 4 ½ years. A daughter had claimed her father was not mentally capable when he made a new Will and left everything to his new partner. The partner eventually won and the daughter was left picking up a very large legal bill.
- Will disputes based on allegations of undue influence.
- Disputes over probate and Powers of Attorney.
Disputed Wills brought under the Inheritance Act 1975 are becoming increasingly common. This Act makes a provision for the Court to vary the distribution of someone’s estate to make reasonable financial provision for their:
- Spouse or civil partner.
- Former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or re-partnered.
- Partner they live with but never married or entered a civil partnership with.
- Someone treated as a child or being financially maintained by them at the time of their death (for example step children, foster children etc.).
This type of dispute typically arises when one or more of the above people have been left out of a Will.
How we can help
Our expert solicitors can help you make an informed decision about whether there is a valid case for you to pursue and the likely chances of any claim succeeding.
Prompt intervention may be able to bring a swift end to any animosity before relationships are damaged irrevocably.
Whatever the issue, our team at Else Solicitors can guide you through the complex area of the law around inheritance, Wills and probate. We will give you straight forward, jargon-free, practical advice and support you in making the decision about whether to pursue any claim.
Remember that Else Solicitors can also help and advise you in the preparation of Wills, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, so that your loved ones are adequately provided for and there is little or no scope for family disputes to break out following your death.