A will is an important legal document which can protect the wishes and inheritance of a loved one after their death. However, disputes over a will can arise for many reasons and result in a great deal of stress and expense for relatives. If you have concerns about a will or want to challenge it, our will dispute solicitors near me can help. They provide specialist legal advice on all types of inheritance and probate disputes, from clerical errors to undue influence and lack of mental capacity.
A number of factors can lead to a dispute over the contents of a will, including complex family structures – divorce, cohabitation and children from previous relationships are all common occurrences in modern life, making it difficult for a testator to take everyone into consideration when drafting their will. In addition, increased media coverage of will disputes means individuals are more aware of their legal rights and the potential to bring a claim. As a consequence, the number of claims against estates has been on the rise in recent years.
Disputes can also be brought about by a lack of communication between family members, leading to resentment and ill feeling towards one another. Often, this will lead to the deceased’s estate being divided in a way that is unsatisfactory and unfair to those left behind.
Inheritance and probate disputes can also be triggered by issues relating to trusts and tax, which are complex matters requiring specialist legal knowledge. Other causes of a dispute include suspicions of fraud and elder abuse, or the fact that someone was not of sound mind at the time of signing their will. It is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you have any concerns about the validity of a will, so that steps can be taken to stop the administration of the estate and prevent any distributions from being made.
What are the costs of contesting a will?
The cost of a will dispute depends on the length of time that the case takes to reach a resolution and whether it has to go to court. In most cases where a claim is successful, the loser pays the winner’s costs. This can be a significant sum of money and it is advisable to speak to an experienced will dispute solicitor for advice at the earliest opportunity.
We offer a free initial consultation for clients to discuss their concerns and questions about a will. This is an excellent opportunity to get the advice you need, so please contact us to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, we can act on your behalf under a conditional fee agreement (more commonly known as no win no fee) if the prospects of successfully bringing a claim are good. This will cover all of your legal expenses, but you will still be responsible for the costs incurred by the other party in a case where a claim is unsuccessful. We can explain more about this during your free consultation.