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Contesting A Will Solicitors
Contesting A Will Solicitors

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Contesting A Will Help & Advice

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Probate Solicitor | What Is Probate?

The death of a loved one is a difficult and stressful period to go through. If you have been named as the executor of a Will, depending upon the size of the Estate, it may be your responsibility to apply for probate. To help ease some of the stress and responsibility, it is advised that you hire a probate lawyer to help you through the legal process.

The term 'probate' is used to describe both the legal and financial processes that are involved when dealing with the assets of a person who has died, including money, property and possessions. Put simply, it is the process by which a Will is proven and the Estate thereafter administered according to the terms of that Will. The executor of the Will must apply for probate before they are able to claim, distribute or sell any of the assets of the testator (the person whose Will it is).

If the deceased has not left a Will, or the appointed executor cannot or will not act, an administrator will be appointed to carry out the instructions of the Will, or administer the estate according to the laws of intestacy.

If an individual is seeking to contest probate, this may mean that they are looking to dispute the validity of the Will, or seeking to bring a claim for maintenance under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

At Tollers, we have a team of expert probate solicitors, who are specialists in this niche area of the law to help you with your case and offer any guidance you may need. As an established leading regional law firm, your Tollers probate solicitor will help you deal with any legal challenges you might face, despite the complexity. 


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 Can a Probate Solicitor Do for Me?

Your Tollers probate solicitor will provide you with advice and guidance, whilst helping you to make important decisions on what to do next in the process.

The general probate process involves;

  • Identifying all of the deceased’s assets and determining the value of their estate once all liabilities have been deducted.
  • Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs and submitting the Inheritance Tax return. The Inheritance Tax return is required whether or not tax is due.
  • Settling all liabilities and paying the final estate administration expenses.
  • Documenting all estate payments, and showing the final balance which will be left for distribution to the beneficiaries. The estate accounts will then be sent to the executor of the Will for approval.
  • Providing there are no challenges or complicating factors which could prevent distribution, the assets can then be distributed amongst the beneficiaries.

If there is a dispute, all Tollers contentious probate solicitors are official members of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), meaning they are officially recognised as specialists in this niche area of law of contesting probate; a rarity in the region.


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.

Time Scales

The entire probate process can vary greatly, depending upon a large number of different factors. Hiring a probate solicitor from Tollers can speed up the process as they have the expert legal knowledge enabling them to take the correct action and guide you through the process. 

As a rough guideline, the probate process usually takes between 9-12 months to complete, however depending on the circumstances it can take much longer, potentially lasting years when a complex situation arises. 

Factors that may affect timescale can include:

  • Unresolved legal disputes regarding the Will and contested probate
  • Pending inheritance tax

If the deceased had unresolved financial affairs


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.

Do I Need A Probate Solicitor?

A probate solicitor will guide an executor or administrator through the entire process of probate. Your expert probate solicitor at Tollers will be well versed in all laws surrounding probate, providing you with specialist legal advice, and supporting you through what can be an emotional and sensitive time.

At Tollers, we pledge to go the extra mile for each of our clients, ensuring we understand each aspect of the Estate, so we may achieve the most favourable outcome.

There are several circumstances in which an individual may enlist the help of a probate solicitor and these may include:

•             The deceased’s estate is valued over the inheritance tax threshold, and the estate is still earning a regular income where complex taxes are due to be paid

•             The estate is bankrupt (insolvent)

•             There are doubts concerning whether the estate is bankrupt

•             The estate includes foreign assets or property

•             The deceased resided outside of the UK for tax reasons

•             There is no Will in place and the estate is complex to administer

•             The estate has complexities such as assets being held in trust

•             Dependents who may want to make a claim on the estate were deliberately left out of the Will

•             The Will is being contested as there are doubts over its validity

 

If you feel that you have reason to believe that a loved one's Will may be invalid, then you may want to contest the Will. To do this you will need to enlist the help of a contentious probate solicitor. 


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.

The Deceased Lacked Knowledge and Approval

The testator must be aware that they are making a Will, and must be able to approve that the contents of the Will reflect their wishes and instructions. If the testator did not fully comprehend what was being included, this may be grounds for challenging the Will. Suspicious circumstances can include one or more of the following:

  • A major beneficiary was present when the instructions for the Will were given or when it was signed and witnessed
  • The Will changed substantially before death
  • A beneficiary organised and drafted the Will
  • If the document that has been signed by the deceased was not the document they believed they were signing; for example the deceased signed the Will thinking that they were signing a different document.

The Deceased Was Unduly Influenced

If there are grounds to believe that the testator was physically or mentally bullied or manipulated into making a Will, the contents of which they would not have done under their own free will, it may be possible to bring a claim of undue influence. The person alleging such a claim must prove that undue influence or pressure has occurred; mere persuasion is not enough. This can be very difficult to prove because this behaviour is likely to be done surreptitiously. Your Tollers contentious probate solicitor will have many years of experience in dealing with these complicated and sensitive cases.

The Deceased Lacked Capacity

For a Will to be valid, the person must have been of sound mind at the time of creating it. They must be fully aware that they are making a Will, and what the Will specified would happen to their assets after they have died. The testator must appreciate how much of their estate they are going to be giving away and who is due to receive it. 

The testator must not have been suffering from any mental disorder which could potentially impair their ability to make logical and reasonable decisions at the time of creating 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.

Fraud Had Taken Place

A Will is only valid if it has been signed by the testator and witnessed by two witnesses. If the testator, or either of the witness’s signatures were forged, then the Will is not valid and can be challenged.

The Will Was Not Correctly Executed

For a Will to be valid, it must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the document. It is generally the case that all parties should be present in the same room, at the same time. 


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 Will I Afford To Contest A Will?

For many people, funding legal proceedings can be a concern and can deter people from seeking professional advice. Tollers offer our clients requiring a contentious probate solicitor, a range of funding options. We can offer funding on a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, with each matter to be decided on a case by case basis, dependent upon the merits of the claim.

For an alternative method of funding, Tollers always advise our clients to check over their home buildings/contents insurance policies, to see whether they have any Legal Expenses Insurance, as they might be covered to pursue such claims. Check your terms and conditions policy booklet or contact your insurer directly if you are in any doubt.

Tollers will always give you a realistic estimate of the costs involved in any matter prior to undertaking work.

Looking For A Probate Solicitor? Tollers Can Help.

At Tollers we understand that legal matters concerning family members and other types of personal relationships can be sensitive and complex issues to tackle.

Your probate solicitor will listen closely to what you have to say, and, with much experience in this sector, can fully empathise with and understand your circumstances, both personal and legal. We will take the time to explain points of law clearly and simply without any waffle or legal jargon.

At Tollers, your probate solicitor isn’t just there to offer you their specialist legal expertise. We focus on our clients, offering them support and understanding through what can be a very difficult and tense process, whilst achieving a favourable outcome. 


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.

Tollers & ACTAPS

The Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists was first established back in 1997 for legal practitioners involved in contentious trust and probate work.

The idea of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists is to provide an open forum for specialists to swap stories, knowledge and an appreciation of the law and the specialists areas in which they operate. It’s important to promote the specific skill sets that are in effect around this sector of the law through education and training to enable representations to be made to the specific governmental and judicial bodies in relation to trust and probate issues.

ACTAPS Approved Members of the Toller’s Staff:

Tom Kings: Tom qualified as a solicitor in the mid-1980s and has gained significant experience in many different forms of business and private litigation, representing a number of substantial commercial and private clients.

Tom is a member of the Northamptonshire Law Society Council and formally chaired 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. Tom 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: Tiffany officially qualified at Tollers in 2010 and currently operates as an Associate Solicitor in the contesting a Will team.

Tiffany specialises in contesting a Will 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, which means that she is officially recognised as a specialist in this niche arena. 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.

About Tollers

Tollers have a long and successful history, being founded in 1877, we have grown to become a leading regional law firm, helping individuals with a wide variety of legal cases. We can provide specialist and tailored advice on matters including, but not limited to:

•             The preparation of Wills

•             Bereavement, administration of estates and probate

•             Disputes about Wills, Trusts and Estates

•             Inheritance tax

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

Client satisfaction is of paramount importance to us at Tollers, and throughout our eight offices, over 163 partners and staff, we take a very modern approach to providing our clients with a high-quality legal service.

We continually invest in our employees, processes and technology to ensure the service our clients receive is both first-class and cost-effective. We act professionally, adapting the way we do things to best serve your needs, and to build a relationship based on trust, mutual respect, professionalism and the desire to help you succeed. 


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

Tiffany qualified at Tollers in September 2010 and is currently an 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 and Probate... Read More

Tiffany Wiggett / 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 and head of dispute resolution
t   01604 258127
m   07785 542593

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