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Contest Probate with Hewitsons

“We have a team of approachable, responsive solicitors, all of whom are members of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). The team is consistently rated year on year as a Top Tier firm by The Legal 500 for its work in this area.”

Our experienced specialist solicitors can help you. As well as inheritance disputes, the team also deal with:

  • Claims for removal of Executors
  • Trust litigation
  • Financial abuse of the elderly & vulnerable
  • NHS Continuing Healthcare funding decisions
  • Long-term care funding issues
  • Deprivation of Liberty matters
Tiffany Benson
Tiffany BensonLegal Director - Contentious Trusts & Probate

Wills

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Contesting a Will can potentially cover a number of very different claims. Identifying the type of claim an individual may have, depends upon the facts of each case. It is for this reason that we recommend you seek legal advice from a professional team such as ourselves, who are recognised specialists in this area and members of ACTAPS.

Trusts

Image of a will

A trust dispute is any dispute relating to the administration or validity of a trust. Trust disputes can arise for a variety of reasons and can have serious financial consequences. Whether you are a Trustee or a beneficiary, we can assist you with any trust concerns that you may have.

Probate

Image of a will

The administration of a Deceased persons estate can become problematic and complicated, leading to an increased chance of a dispute arising. This may be a dispute between Executors themselves, or between the Executors and beneficiaries of the estate. At Hewitsons our Will & Estate Disputes team, are specialists in contentious probate matters.

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"Needless to say we very much doubt that we could ever have secured such a satisfactory conclusion without your own tenacity and professionalism."

- MR. H
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"I have very much appreciated your exceptional professionalism with this sad situation."

- MRS. B
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"Tiffany is very calm, clear and concise. She has the ability to take the client’s emotion out of the case which is rare. She is very timely and never inflammatory – something that the client can sometimes be guilty of. She is highly skilled in shaping correspondence which quietly lands punches without being offensive. I would recommend her to anyone."

- MR. M

Contesting Probate

Our experienced, specialist solicitors can help you. We cover the full range of claims in this area including:

  • Contesting the validity of a Will
  • Claims for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants Act) 1975
  • Proprietary Estoppel claims
  • Claims for the rectification of Wills based on clerical error or a failure to understand a testator’s instructions

What type of probate dispute do you have?

We would always recommend that you talk to us before taking any active steps to advance your claim. This is because contentious probate can encompass a variety of different claims, for which there are different procedures to be followed. The facts of your individual probate dispute will determine the type of claim applicable.

Types of probate claim:

Click a type to learn more.

Disputing the validity of a Will

If there are serious concerns as to the validity of the Deceased’s Will, then you would be seeking to set aside the current Will, on the basis that it is invalid. There are a limited number of grounds to dispute the validity of a Will. 

Inheritance Act Claim

A Will may be valid on its face, however you, or a minor child, may not have been adequately financially provided for by the Deceased within their Will and are consequently a disappointed beneficiary in need of further financial provision from the Deceased’s Estate. Assuming you are a qualifying claimant, you would be looking to bring a claim for reasonable financial provision under The Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 (“1975 Act”). You must take promptly on whether you are qualifying claimant under the Act as there are strict time limits to be followed in such claims.

Download our Practical Guide to Inheritance Act claims

The Will is Incorrect or Unclear

The Will may be misleading and unclear, resulting in a need to construe the Will. Alternatively, as a result of a drafting error, a term in the Will may be incorrect, leading to a rectification claim. Once again, strict time limits apply.

Reliance on a promise

A claim in proprietary estoppel may arise where the Deceased promised in lifetime to leave you something on their death. In reliance upon that promise, you have then acted to your detriment during the Deceased’s lifetime, only to learn following their subsequent death, that the Deceased has in fact not fulfilled their promise to you within their Will.

The different probate claims referred to above are all separate and distinct but they fall under the umbrella of “contesting probate”. Due to the varied nature of such claims, probate disputes are a complex area of law. Many people, in order to attempt to save on legal costs, try to advance their dispute themselves, without taking legal advice, only to learn that the claim they ought to bring isn’t in fact the claim they have been trying to pursue for themselves. It is imperative that you take specialist advice on the type of probate claim and procedures to adopt, otherwise you could be wasting a lot of time and effort. More importantly, you could find yourself time-barred from bringing your probate dispute at all. 

We can advise on all types of contesting a Will disputes and are recognised specialists in this niche legal area. Please contact any member of the team for a free initial discussion to discuss the merits of contesting a Probate on 0330 311 0885 or email us at willdisputes@hewitsons.com