Contested probate can be a very distressing process for grieving family, friends and Executors. It is important to work with a solicitor who can support and advise you. At David Lee Solicitors we have the experience to deal with the difficult and sensitive matters that arise from a contested probate and are able to help the family, or the Executors, achieve a satisfactory result.
When somebody (a “Testator”) dies then their property (their “estate”) is normally distributed as they wished by their Executors, who are named in the will. However problems can arise about:
- Whether the Testator knew what they were doing
- Whether they were being unfairly influenced by members of their family or by their carers
- Whether the will was executed by them properly, especially if it was home-made and not drawn up by a solicitor
In these cases it may be necessary to ask a court to decide if the Will is valid, in a contested probate action. This is a specialist procedure dealt with locally by the High Court in Birmingham or in London.
If somebody does not leave a valid Will then their estate is distributed by “Administrators” who apply for letters of administration which give them the same powers as executors. The estate is divided in the way set out by law. This is not the same as if there was a Will – for instance an unmarried partner will get nothing.
A Will, or the effects of not leaving a Will (“intestacy”) might not leave enough for somebody who was financially dependent on the testator, for example one of their children or their widow, or an unmarried partner. They can make an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 to be given reasonable provision, and this claim must be made within 6 months of when the Will was formally recognised (“proved) in the Probate Registry.
Further problems can arise when Executors, or Administrators may not deal with things properly, or may be very slow, or very careless. Or they may not be sure what the Will means. In all these cases an Administration Action can be started in the courts to enforce the terms of the Will, or intestacy.
David Lee Solicitors are dedicated to helping you. Our experience in contested probate cases ensures you get the best help and advice, so contact us today on 01926 852188 to arrange your free initial consultation.
If you have any questions or queries, please dont hesitate to contact us today.