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Contesting A Will Solicitors
Contesting A Will Solicitors
Contesting A Will Solicitors

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Contesting A Will Help & Advice

Call us now on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Can I Contest a Will?

Before you ask yourself, ‘Can I Contest a Will?’ it is a good idea to first understand what this entails, what it means for you and how a contentious probate lawyer at Tollers can help you through what can be a difficult process.

A Will contest occurs most often where a person seeks to bring a formal challenge against the validity of a Will, relying upon on one, or a number of specific grounds. Typically, Will contests are brought on the grounds that the testator did not possess the required testamentary capacity to make a Will, was not correctly executed, or that the Testator was subject to undue influence.

The Contesting a Will team at Tollers are recognised specialists in this niche area of the law, we have earned membership of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). This means that we are officially recognised as specialists, having the required knowledge and experience to advise clients in this field. If you are wondering whether you can contest a Will, then we have the experience and qualifications to help you.

Are You Wondering If You Can Contest a Will?

To successfully contest a Will, you must first prove one or more of the following:

  • The Will was not executed properly
  • The deceased lacked capacity
  • The deceased lacked knowledge and approval
  • The deceased was unduly influenced
  • Fraud had taken place

You must also be a beneficiary of a greater share under a directly previous Will, or intestacy.

Funding: Can I afford to contest a Will?

The fear of funding your contest of a Will should not deter you from moving forward. Tollers will always provide an accurate estimate of what the case will cost you and we also offer a range of different funding options to help you. We will consider funding by way of a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, with each matter to be decided on a case by case basis. 


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Can I contest a Will on grounds of reduced testamentary capacity of the deceased person?

You can. For a Will to be valid, the party creating it (testator) must understand they are making a Will and understand what the Will states will happen to their assets after their death. They must know how much of their estate they are giving away and who is due to receive it.

They must not be suffering from any mental disorder which may impair their ability to make rational and reasonable decisions, potentially causing them to sign off a Will that otherwise they would not.

Can I contest a Will if the testator lacked knowledge and/or approval?

Yes. The testator must know that they are making a Will and must be able to approve its contents. In a case which has previously been considered suspicious, it could be presumed that they didn’t understand what was being included and this could be a ground for challenging the Will. Suspicious circumstances may include one or more of the following:

  • A beneficiary has organised and drafted the Will
  • A major beneficiary was present when the instructions for the Will were given or when it was signed and witnessed
  • The Will changed dramatically before death
  • The Will was homemade

This could also be the case if the document that has been signed by the deceased was not the document they believed they were signing, so for example the deceased signed the Will under the impression that they were signing something else.

Can I contest a Will if the testator has been unduly influenced?

If the testator has been physically or mentally manipulated into making a Will, which they would not have made of their own free will, you may have grounds to contest the Will. The person alleging undue influence must prove that undue influence has occurred; mere suspicion is not enough. This is very tough to prove in the absence of independent evidence and where there has been professional involvement.

Can I contest a Will on the grounds of fraud being committed?

The answer is yes. If the signature on the Will document has been forged and does not belong to the deceased, this may be reason to consider contesting the Will. 


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Can I contest a Will if the Will was not executed properly?

To be valid, a Will must be signed by the deceased (or on their behalf in their presence) in front of two witnesses, who must then sign in front of the deceased. Ideally all of the parties would be present, in the same room, at the same time, in order to establish that the two witnesses were present when the deceased signed his Will. If this does not happen then the Will can be deemed invalid.

Can I Contest a Will on the grounds of a newer Will being written?

Traditionally, it is best for the Testator to destroy or revoke an outdated Will. Most people will  state in the content of a new Will, that it is intended to revoke the outdated former Will. The last Will and Testament ought to be proven at the Probate Registry. If a later valid Will is discovered that post-dates an earlier proven Will, then in such a case, the court are likely to pronounce in favour of the later Will and revoke the earlier Will.

Can I contest a Will in the absence of sufficient and satisfactory witnesses?

Two adult witnesses must be present to validly execute a Will of the Testator at the time of signing. These witnesses must not be beneficiaries, or the spouses of beneficiaries under the Will. If a beneficiary, or his/her spouse, also witnesses the Will, the Will is not invalidated but the gift to that individual fails.


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Other contentious probate claims I can bring

Any dispute with regards to the administration of the deceased person’s estate, following death as also falls under the contentious probate sphere. Executor disputes could involve any of the following:

  • Dispute over the valuation of assets
  • Interpretation of a Will
  • Dealing with difficult executors or feuding beneficiaries.

Can I bring a claim if a dispute between the executors and/or beneficiaries arises?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is quite common for emotions to run high, potentially resulting in conflicts between the various interested parties.  In such situations specialists from Tollers can assist in dealing with any issues in a professional, sensitive and timely manner including but not limited to:

  • Instructing experts to undertake a valuation of the assets in dispute
    • Issuing subpoenas (a writ ordering a person to attend court or to produce testamentary documents)
    • Issuing citations to accept or refuse probate to a non-proving executor
    • Applications to court for directions as to an issue in dispute
    • Defending claims brought by others upon an Estate

Applying to remove or pass over named executors


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

How Long Can I wait to Contest a Will?

If you are unhappy and wondering if you can contest a Will, it is extremely important that you seek legal advice as quickly as possible. Time limits for contesting a Will do apply.

Time Limits

Generally, the time limits for contesting a Will vary depending on the type of claim, and are governed under the 1980 Limitation Act. The nature of such claims means that it is crucial that expert help is sought on such matters. However, there are some key time limits you should be aware of. In respect of contesting the validity of a Will:

  • Where the deceased died having made a Will, the time limit is 12 years from the date of death.
  • Where the deceased has died without having made a Will, the time limit is 12 years from the date of the Grant of Letters of Administration (‘Probate’).


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

Recognised Specialists - Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)

The idea of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists is to promote the enhancement of the specific skills specialisation and expertise in this area, by the provision of education and training and, where possible, to enable representations to be made to the appropriate governmental and judicial bodies in relation to contentious trust and probate issues.

With Tollers, you can be assured of expert advice with every step while contesting a Will. Our knowledge and experience we have gathered as probate solicitors gives us an edge in the field of law.

We will help you through what can be a legally complex area. We act regularly for Executors, Trustees, Beneficiaries and other disappointed family members in a variety of contested probate cases.

We have offices all across the midlands in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Kettering, Corby, Stevenage, Kempston, Oakham and Uppingham.

ACTAPS Approved Members of the Toller’s Staff:

Tom Kings qualified as a solicitor in the mid-1980s he is a member of the Northamptonshire Law Society Council and former Chair of the Contentious subcommittee. For the last decade he has specialised in Trust and Probate claims having completed the ACTAPS course. He has worked on a wide variety of challenged estate and inheritance claims and has presented numerous seminars on the subject of challenging or contesting a Will.

Tom works as the Head of an experienced team who are able to offer a range of different advice when a client decides to contest a Will.

Tiffany Wiggett qualified at Tollers in 2010 and is currently an Associate Solicitor in the contesting a Will team.

Tiffany specialises in contesting Wills and the financial abuse of the elderly and vulnerable.

In October 2015 Toller’s were proud to announce that Tiffany became a fully-fledged member of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists. Tiffany advises upon all manner of disputes that arise after someone passes away and these include:

  • Challenges to Wills,
  • Inheritance Act Claims,
  • Proprietary Estoppel Claims
  • Executor/Beneficiary Disputes
  • Challenges to Lifetime Gifts
  • Construction/Rectification of a Will
  • Professional Negligence

Financial Abuse of the Elderly/Vulnerable


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

What is grant of probate?

The term ‘probate’ is used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with property, money and possessions, which are commonly referred to as assets, after someone passes away.

Before the next of kin, or executor named within the Will can claim or distribute any of these assets, normally they will have to  apply for probate.

Once probate has been granted via a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, the next of kin or executor can start to administer the assets in accordance with the deceased person’s Will, or intestacy (where there is no Will). If the deceased died without creating a Will, this is known as ‘dying intestate’. In this instance, the beneficiaries are determined in order of hierarchy by law.

Can I Contest a Will After Probate?

Although there are many reasons why it is almost always better for you to contest a Will before probate, it is still possible to contest a Will after probate.

If you delay bringing a claim for a contested Will, your case may be harder to pursue or the assets more difficult to recover. The legal costs prior to the issue of court proceedings, are significantly less than after court proceedings are issued. If you believe that you have strong grounds to contest a Will, seek specialist legal advice from Tollers as soon as possible. You can in certain circumstances lodge a ‘caveat’ at the Probate Registry, to prevent the issue of the Grant of Probate. This will currently cost you £20

What happens if Your Contesting a Will claim is Successful?

If a Will is successfully contested then it will be declared invalid. The Estate will then be dealt with under the terms of the directly previous valid Will. If there is none to speak of then the rules of intestacy will apply.


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Call our Specialists FREE on 0333 414 9191
or Click Here to contact us.

"I was very impressed with the first class service I received from your company, from the initial contact to the subsequent closure of my file. 

The solicitor handling my case was understanding and sympathetic of my situation and was expedient with the processing of the correspondence. She was professional and very approachable at all times" 

Mr Terrence Vincent Ryan 


 

"I did not know what to do about contesting my late step-father's Will, so I contacted Tollers and Tiffany Wiggett returned my request for advice and my mind was put at rest. She explained in English what to do and did it. I would recommend her highly." 

Mr. Featherstone


 

Call our Contesting a Will HELPLINE  0333 414 9191 for FREE initial advice, we are happy to discuss ‘No Win No Fee’ for your case.


How To Contest A WillPlease contact us for completely free advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

Our experts in Contesting a Will

Tiffany qualified at Tollers in September 2010 and is currently an Senior Associate Solicitor in the contesting a Will team. Tiffany specialises in contesting a Will and financial abuse of the elderly/vulnerable. As of October 2015 Tiffany became a Full Member of The Association of Contentious Trust... Read More

Tiffany Wiggett / Senior Associate Solicitor - Contesting a Will
t   01604 258577

Related Service Area: Dispute ResolutionAreas of Specialism: Contentious Probate – challenging Wills, inheritance claims and claims by and upon an Estate.Office based at: CorbyTom qualified with Tollers in 1984 and joined the partnership in 1987.  He is a Senior Partner and Head of Dispute... Read More

Tom Kings / Senior Partner
t   01604 258127
m   07785 542593

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