Losing a loved one is one of the hardest times in anyone's life, it's hard enough without worrying about Wills, but many people fail to make a Last Will and Testament and some families may have internal disagreements about how assets are distributed between family members.
Contentious Probate is the legal term that describes these disputes about Wills and Trusts and the distribution of a person's assets.
If a person hasn't made a Will it falls to the Crown to distribute the assets between relatives. This can be a fairly straight forward procedure if there's only one spouse or family member still living. However, if there is more than one heir, the procedure can become far more difficult and complex. There can often be numerous claims and counter claims which require the expertise of professionally qualified solicitors.
Challenging a Will
If you disagree with the way assets have been distributed and you wish to challenge a Will it's important to understand that a Last Will and Testament can only be challenged under specific circumstances, such as lack of testamentary intention or lack of due execution. Lack of testamentary intention means that a Will can only operate as a Will if the Will maker intended it to. A lack of due execution is when a Will doesn't comply with Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837. A Will is only valid if:
- It's written and signed by the person making the Will.
- The Will is signed by the person making the Will and two or more witnesses were present at the same time.
- The Will maker intended the Will to be used for that purpose.
- The witnesses sign the Will and acknowledge the Will writer's signature.
- The Will isn't forged or fraudulently produced.
- The Will isn't drafted under influence of an external party.
- The Will writer approved of the Will's contents.
Fonseca & Partners can offer professional advice and high quality services for any contentious probate claim and inheritance dispute. Our team of highly trained solicitors understand that losing a loved one can be a stressful and depressing time and that's why we take the time to understand your personal requirements and concerns. Our solicitors will provide you with the best results in a timely, cost efficient manner.
To speak with one of our team please get in touch today.