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Probate dispute solicitors Swansea

Challenges to a Will can arise. Someone who feels they did not get their fair share of the Estate can raise objections.

It is always sensible to make a Will. It takes away many of the potential problems which arise on death. It gives your family and friends direction as to how you want your affairs managed when you pass. Sadly, however, that is not always the end of the matter.

Even where there is a Will, challenges to the Will can arise. Someone who feels they did not get their fair share of the Estate can raise objections to the Will. These can take many forms. The most common ones are:

A lack of capacity

The objector claims that the Will is not valid because the person who made it did not have capacity at the time it was made. This can be raised especially where the person making the Will was particularly, old, unwell or confused when the Will was signed. Ultimately, this may require medical evidence to resolve.

Not correctly executed

Here the objector alleges that the formalities of the signing of the Will were not followed correctly, thereby rendering the Will invalid. In this case tracing and interviewing the witnesses is a good first step.

Lack of provision

Claims can be brought by a person who feels they did not receive adequate provision in a Will. To bring such a claim they would need to show they were maintained by the deceased and had a reasonable expectation this would continue. Where such a claim is upheld, the Court has the power to vary the Will to make an appropriate provision.

These and other challenges to Wills can be difficult to deal with both from the viewpoint of bringing a claim against an Estate and defending such a claim. This is particularly so where the Will may have been made some time ago.

If you are in the position where you need to pursue or defend such a claim it is wise to get expert advice at an early stage.  

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Frequently Asked Questions:

The death of a loved one is always a difficult time. The situation can unfortunately be made even more stressful if it is discovered that the deceased’s last Will is not as family and friends may have expected. This is particularly so, if the Will does not reflect the deceased’s true wishes as they had previously expressed them. A disappointed beneficiary may wish to consider challenging the Will.

If you believe your share of a loved one’s Will is insufficient, you can challenge the contents of the Will under certain conditions with the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act of 1975.

This Act grants the court the right to change the deceased person’s Will if it is found that reasonable financial provision has not been made to a close relative or dependant.

A Will dispute may arise for the following reasons:

  1. The Will is invalid
  2. The Will does not reflect a promise made by the deceased before their death
  3. The Will is forged or obtained by fraud
  4. The meaning of the Will is unclear or the Will does not properly record the deceased’s wishes and needs to be rectified (see Will construction disputes)
  5. The Will was negligently drafted

  1. A spouse or civil partner
  2. A former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or registered a new civil partnership
  3. A person who was cohabitating with the deceased as ‘husband and wife’ for at least two years prior to their death
  4. A child of the deceased
  5. A person treated by the deceased as “a child of the family” (for example a fostered or step-child)
  6. A person who was being maintained by the deceased.

Simple probate disputes can be settled without Court involvement and there are a number of alternative dispute resolution options that can be used to try and keep a matter out of Court.

This depends on the nature of the dispute. If you need to make an Inheritance Act claim, you normally need to do so within 6 months of probate being granted. However, if you wish to challenge a Will on the grounds of fraud, there is no time limit.

We can offer support and the resolution you need with our experienced team of specialist solicitors. We also provide 30 minutes of (no obligation) free legal advice.

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