If you feel you’ve been forgotten about in a Will, or that a loved one’s Will is invalid in some way, there are steps you can take to benefit from the estate.
Everyone has the testamentary freedom to express their own wishes in their Will, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept the situation when you might be entitled to claim. With a steady legal hand guiding you through the process, you can contest the will successfully while maintaining the relationships that matter.
A thorough, personal approach
The private litigation team at Blaser Mills Law is highly recommended. We’re renowned in the region and well-regarded nationally for our expert, resilient and strategic approach to contentious probate. We have taken many clients through the processes of securing inheritance provision for the family and contesting a Will. With a great deal of experience behind us, we know how to approach each claim and will help you create strong grounds for contesting.
Our honest and personal approach to litigation sets us apart. We believe you benefit the most when you know exactly where you stand, so we take the time to give you a clear view of your rights and options, in a way that makes sense to you. Wills are emotive subjects and we’re not here to take the emotion out of the matter. Rather, we get to know your concerns and what you want to achieve, so that we can help you resolve the dispute quickly and cost-effectively.
When to contest a Will
When it comes to contesting a Will, acting quickly is essential because there are time limits. Contesting a Will after probate is issued can make the situation more complex. It’s much smoother and more cost-effective to find a resolution before the estate is distributed.
Being able to lodge a caveat to the Probate Registry office for contentious probate means we can stop the executors from having the power to administer an estate before the dispute is resolved. The caveat lasts for six months, so we then work quickly to resolve the matter in the most efficient way, whether that is through mediation to reach a suitable agreement with other beneficiaries or through court proceedings.
Contesting a Will has to be cost-effective. That is why we tailor our legal costs and service to you, and we’ll talk you through all your options and what you can expect from the outcome so you can confidently decide how you want to proceed.
Investigating a Will’s validity
A Will needs several features to make it a valid, legal document. It has to be signed in writing in the presence of two witnesses, with signatures from the person making the Will and the witnesses. The person creating the Will must have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, and therefore be making it voluntarily, which is what the witness’s signatures confirm.
Wills become invalid when there is reason to believe it was signed incorrectly, fraudulently or created when the person didn’t have a sound mind or was facing undue influence from someone else. If you think this is the case, we can investigate the matter for you, searching for evidence of incapacity, undue influence or forgery.
Inheritance Act claims
Certain people can claim for reasonable provisions if they have been left out of a Will or not had enough left for them to cope. For example, spouses, partners, children, and others who relied on the deceased financially. Whether or not you can claim, and how much you can claim, will depend on your financial circumstances, the estate and the circumstances of other beneficiaries. Our solicitors will give you a clear indication of your rights and the outcome you can expect, helping you plan for your future while we take you through the claim process.
Removal of executors
Executors have a duty to follow the wishes in the Will and the law. If you feel that they are not following the Will or are delaying the process, it can be most effective for the beneficiaries to remove an executor. There may also be grounds to claim compensation. We have guided many clients through the legal procedures surrounding Wills and trusts, and we can act as executors to ensure it is distributed properly and efficiently.