Dealing with a loved one’s affairs after their death is always difficult. Sometimes people have different opinions of what the deceased’s wishes were and unfortunately disagreements can arise. At Blaser Mills Law we understand how hard it can be to deal with a dispute and we work sensitively with our clients to try and find a swift and constructive resolution.
Clear and pragmatic advice
Emotions can run high after someone’s death. Our team knows from years of experience that disagreements at this time need careful handling. We offer thoughtful, pragmatic advice designed to prevent a situation running out of control.
By looking at the situation with you and understanding what is important to you, we can tailor our approach to ensure that your rights are respected but that there is also the opportunity for a family to move on from any issues they may have.
We will clearly explain your options for both negotiation and legal action and are always available to discuss your course of action and answer any questions you may have
Dealing with disagreement following a death
Coping with the death of a loved one is always painful. If those left behind have strong beliefs about what the deceased would have wanted or feel that their estate or trust is not being administered correctly it can cause great distress.
We know how quickly matters can escalate and we always try to help our clients reach an acceptable outcome before disputes become out of hand. We are experienced in dealing with the sorts of difficulties that commonly arise following a death and we understand the importance of acting quickly to bring them to an end.
In particular, we deal with the following types of dispute.
Inheritance Act claims
Certain categories of people may have a valid claim if they are left out of a Will. These include a spouse or civil partner of the deceased, a former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried, a child of the deceased, someone who was treated as a child of the deceased such as a step-child, someone cohabiting with the deceased and someone who was being maintained by the deceased.
Those who believe they have a claim must start proceedings within six months of the grant of probate. If this deadline is missed, the court will have to grant consent for a late application to be made.
Contesting or defending a will
It may be possible to contest a Will if you believe that the person who made the Will lacked the mental capacity to do so, if they were coerced into making the Will, if the Will is believed to be a forgery or if the Will was not properly witnessed.
The only people who can contest a Will are the spouse, cohabitee or child of the person who made the Will or someone who is mentioned in the Will or in any previous Will. As above, the time limit for contesting a Will is generally six months from the date of grant of probate.
At Blaser Mills Law we can act on your behalf to contest a Will and we also represent those who may be defending a Will that is being contested by a third party.
Contesting a probate
Dealing with probate following someone’s death can be a lengthy and complicated matter. Occasionally, beneficiaries may feel that the administration process has not been handled properly. They may believe that assets have not been valued correctly, the will has been wrongly interpreted or an executor has mismanaged the winding-up. Disagreements may also arise between beneficiaries.
We act for clients who wish to challenge an executor or administrator to ensure that an estate is dealt with fairly and in a timely manner.
A trust dispute can arise over the interpretation of a trust deed, the administration of trust funds, disagreements over payments by trustees or arguments between trustees and/or beneficiaries. We act for trustees who wish to protect themselves from liability as well as beneficiaries who may have been unfairly treated.
It is important to act quickly to resolve difficult disputes. Our team of lawyers are experts in the field and will work with you to find the best solutions for you and your family.
Often, the best way to avoid disputes is to ensure that a well-drafted Will is in place and that family members are aware of someone’s wishes. We help our clients to put the right frameworks in place for their assets to avoid disagreements further down the line.