Twenty Questions About Contested Probate and Inheritance Disputes Answered By Our Expert Solicitors.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients when it comes to contentious probate, inheritance disputes and the administering of estates.

When you want advice that is specific to your unique situation please reserve a fixed fee consultation with our expert private client solicitors. The hour consultation is fixed at £95 and can be reserved by calling 0118 958 5711 or by email [email protected]

We offer expert and sensitive legal advice for inheritance and probate disputes as well as complex trust matters. We have experience in acting for executors, beneficiaries, and trustees. For more information please visit our Contentious Probate page.

Contentious Probate Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is contentious probate or an inheritance dispute?

    Contentious probate is when there is a dispute about a deceased’s estate. This may be a dispute about the validity of the will, how the executors are acting, how the assets are to be distributed, or many other related issues.

  • What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

    Contentious ProbateThere are a number of grounds for contesting a will. One such ground is contesting a will on the basis that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to make the will. Another common ground is that the deceased was unduly influenced to make a will against his/her wishes.

    There are many other grounds and there is also the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“IPFDA”) which allows claims to be brought on the basis of insufficient provision under a will.

  • What are the costs to challenge a Will or contest Probate?

    The only reliable answer is “it depends”. This is because of a number of variables: the particular facts of the case, what rates your solicitors charge, how long it takes to resolve the dispute and how complicated the dispute is. At Barrett & Co we will consider all the factors and provide you with an estimate at the outset.

  • Is there a no win no fee contentious Probate Solicitor or law firm?

    There are various options for clients to pursue litigation using funding other than the traditional hourly rates of solicitors. Some options include conditional fee agreements (“no win no fee agreements”), deferred payment arrangements and third-party funding. At Barrett & Co we discuss your particular needs to suit your circumstances.

  • Are there any case studies of examples of contested Probate and disputed Wills?

    Contested Probate and WillsYes, some examples of successful outcomes we have secured for our clients are listed below:

    • Acting for the daughter of the deceased who was successful in replacing the executors of her mother’s estate and replacing them with an independent professional
    • Acting for a testator in a complex statutory will matter with several interested parties
    • Securing the arrest of a respondent in probate proceedings where he failed to appear at court
    • Securing a favourable settlement for a claimant in complex probate proceedings involving assets overseas
    • Obtaining possession of a property for our client in an estate where an executor would not vacate the property
    • Obtaining a six-figure sum for a client where she had not received her share of an estate
  • Do you need a Lawyer or Solicitor to contest a Will?

    No, you can act as a litigant in person, but it is generally inadvisable as contentious probate is a complex and challenging area of law. Instructing a specialist solicitor to represent you is very likely to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

  • What is the best way to challenge or dispute a Will?

    You really need expert advice before embarking on such a step. Otherwise you could be at personal risk of a costs order against you. This could be a significant amount of money. Don’t risk it when you can get independent legal advice for £95 with a fixed fee consultation.

  • How long after a Will is probated can it be contested?

    It depends upon what aspect of the Will you are contesting. If you are contesting the validity of the Will itself it is preferable to challenge before probate.

  • Can a Will be overturned after Probate?

    In certain circumstances a Will can be overturned after Probate has been granted, however, this is much more complicated.

  • Where can I find a contentious Probate Solicitor in Reading?

    If you require assistance with a contested probate, or a contested or disputed Will, then please contact our experts at Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP on 0118 958 9711 or [email protected] We are based in Reading, Berkshire and our team will be happy to assist you.

  • How do I find an inheritance dispute specialist?

    Our team at Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP are accredited members of ACTAPS which is the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists; the gold standard for inheritance, Will and Probate disputes.

  • Can I contest probate if there was no Will?

    Yes. If there is no Will, an Estate will be administered under the Intestacy Rules which govern who will inherit from a deceased person. If you do not fall within these Rules, you will receive nothing automatically.
    However, you can contest this position if you satisfy a selective set of criteria. Our team can assist you with this.

  • Can siblings contest a Will?

    Yes in certain circumstances they can. The best thing to do is to talk to a solicitor and explain the situation. An expert can give you advice as to the likely success, or not, of any dispute.

  • Have you been unfairly disinherited?

    You may feel as though you have not got your fair share of any inheritance or that you have been unfairly left out of a Will or that there was “foul play” or fraud. Whatever the reason, your best bet is to get professional advice as soon as possible.

  • Contesting a Will after the estate has been distributed or probate has been granted – can it be done?

    Yes. You can contest a Will after an Estate has been distributed, whether you were included in the Will or not. However, for practical and cost reasons, you should contact us ASAP, ideally before a Grant of Probate has been issued as this will increase your chances of success.

  • What are the steps and processes involved in contesting a Will?

    Each step and process is specific to your circumstances. As there is no “one size fits all” approach, we would recommend that you seek legal advice on your circumstances with our team to check your unique position, and increase your chances of successfully contesting the Will.

  • The general guide to contesting a Will.

    It is difficult to provide a general guide. This varies depending on your claim circumstances. The requirements change depending on the case; if you have been disinherited as a child of the deceased, the requirements are different compared to what to do if you have been  included in a Will, but not received what you were expecting.

    Our team can provide you with initial advice, based on years of experience, on what path best suits your case.

  • How to contest a Will and win.

    Our team has years of experience of contesting Wills and obtaining positive outcomes for our clients; including financial rewards from an Estate. Call our team on 0118 958 9711 to arrange a meeting so we can discuss how we can potentially take on your claim and win.

    When you want advice that is specific to your unique situation please reserve a fixed fee consultation with our expert private client solicitors. The hour consultation is fixed at £95.

    Call 0118 958 9711 to reserve your consultation today.

Challenging a Power of Attorney

  • Can a Power of Attorney be challenged?

    Yes, on the basis that the donor did not have capacity to make it; or that it was obtained by misrepresentation; or that the Attorneys are not carrying out their role correctly.

  • How to contest a Power of Attorney.

    The approach you should take depends on the circumstances and the problems which have arisen. No two matters are ever the same.

When you want advice that is specific to your unique situation please reserve a fixed fee consultation with our expert private client solicitors. The hour consultation is fixed at £95 and can be reserved by calling 0118 958 5711 or by email [email protected]

Get in touch

Hilary is the head of the Private Client and Contentious Probate teams, and deals with all aspects of Private Client work.

Justin is the head of the Dispute Resolution Teams and deals with all aspects of Contentious Work.

If you would like to know more or arrange a fixed fee appointment, please call us on 01189 589711. Or email Hilary Buckle at [email protected] or Justin Sadler at [email protected].