The crucial first step we can provide assistance with is locating the Last Will and Testament, if there is one. The Will generally sets out wishes with respect to the care of any minors or pets, who will inherit property, assets or sentimental items, and it will perhaps express a burial preference. The Will also names an executor, who is the person responsible for ensuring the wishes set out in the Will are acted upon and respected.
The role of the executor is an important one and will only be appointed to someone the late person trusted. This may be a shared role between up to four people and with it the role’s responsibilities. Our Private Client team can offer guidance as needed for executors to ensure they are aware of their duties and obligations, and can provide practical support to help fulfil those requirements. We are able to provide legal advice as needed, or we can take care of the full probate process on your behalf.
Our probate solicitors used plain English, give you a direct contact and are very approachable. If you would like a Free Initial Assessment with no obligation to instruct, please do get in touch at 020 8355 0830.
It can be highly stressful and emotionally difficult if a loved one has passed and you disagree with the terms of their Will, or if another person is trying to contest the Will that you are administering as the executor. Will and inheritance disputes can cause real tension between families and can heighten the grief you’re already experiencing. Having the right advice is vital in order to clearly express what it is that you’d like to happen, to make or contest a claim, and to know your legal rights.
If you have an inheritance dispute, you can make a claim against an estate under the Inheritance Act 1975 if you feel the Will or intestacy rules (where they did not leave a valid Will) failed to make ‘reasonable financial provision’ for you. It is up to the court’s discretion as to whether the estate’s distribution will be kept as is or if the deceased’s estate will be redistributed.
Our team can advise whether you are entitled to make an inheritance claim, what the grounds are for making a claim, what the court will take into account when ruling on an inheritance claim, and what orders the court can make on inheritance claims. If you do want to make a claim for a provision in the Wills, please note there is a strict six-month time limit in which to do so that starts from when the Grant of Probate or the Letters of Administration is issued.
If you are challenging a Will, different time limits apply for different causes of action. It is therefore essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you are not too late to make a claim. If you are challenging the validity of the Will, there is no strict time limit that applies. However, parties are expected to avoid delays and to present their claim as soon as reasonably possible.
If you are the executor or a beneficiary of an estate, a will and inheritance dispute can understandably cause a lot of stress. There may be a claim against the estate, which could seek to take money or assets away from parties set out in the Will, or the claimant could seek to remove you as the executor if they believe you have mismanaged the estate.
Whatever issue you are facing, our team will sensitively approach the dispute to help reduce further distress. We can take care of all the paperwork for you and will explain everything in the plainest language we can. Don’t delay in seeking tailored legal advice where a Will dispute exists to fully understand your legal position and have your rights protected.