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Contesting a Will or an Estate

If you are considering disputing a Will or contesting some other aspect of an estate, or the way the estate has been administered and distributed, Holmes & Hills Solicitors can help you.

Will disputes are becoming increasingly common because family relationships are more complicated and more Executors of Wills are dealing with the distribution of estates themselves, without seeking specialist advice from a solicitor. This can mean estates are not administered and distributed by Executors as they should be, potentially providing grounds for disputes.

Experts in contesting Wills

At Holmes & Hills Solicitors we understand that disputes surrounding Wills and inheritance can be extremely upsetting and often involve close family and friends. With this in mind, our solicitors aim to resolve Will disputes and claims surrounding estate administration quickly and cost-effectively.

Holmes & Hills has a team of solicitors specialising in challenging a Will and contested probate issues. Our team provides legal advice and representation to individuals and families across Essex and Suffolk.

Get expert advice on challenging a Will or an estate

Holmes & Hills Solicitors offer an initial appointment with a specialist solicitor at a reduced, fixed-fee.

For a reduced, fixed-fee you can meet with one of our expert contentious probate solicitors at any one of our five offices across Essex and Suffolk. At this meeting your solicitor will give you guidance on whether there may be grounds for contesting the Will or making a claim against the estate in your case, whether you personally are able to do so and what your options are moving forward.

It is recommended that you come to the initial meeting with the specialist solicitor with any and all questions you may have about your potential dispute, so as to ensure you get answers to these. Our aim is that by the time you leave this initial appointment, you feel fully informed about whether there are grounds for a dispute, whether you personally could proceed with a dispute, the options available to you and any and all likely costs for pursing a dispute.

Following your initial meeting with one of our specialist solicitors, our specialist will provide you with a written report setting out the guidance provided. This report is included within the reduced, fixed-fee.

To enquire about booking an initial meeting with a specialist at a reduced, fixed-fee call 01376 320456 (Essex) or 01787 275275 (Suffolk).

Fixed-fee advice on disputing a Will or an estate

At your initial meeting with a specialist contested probate solicitor your options and potential next steps will be explained to you. This includes providing you with information on Holmes & Hills’ fixed-fee services relating to disputing a Will, making claims against an estate or defending an estate against claims. If you decide to proceed with making or defending a claim, using one of Holmes & Hills’ fixed-fee services offers you certainty with regards to legal fees.

Advice on defending a claim

If you find yourself in the position of needing to defend a claim being made against you personally, or an estate for which you are an Executor, Holmes & Hills Solicitors can provide you with the expert advice and guidance you will need. The first step to take is to book an initial meeting with one of our specialist contested probate solicitors. Initial appointments are provided at a reduced, fixed fee and include providing you with a written report.

What exactly is meant by Contentious Probate?

Contentious probate is the term used by solicitors when referring to a dispute over a Will, or more broadly, when any dispute arises in relation to the administration of a deceased person’s estate. This dispute can take different forms, including but not limited to:

  • the value of assets,
  • the interpretation of a will,
  • dealing with difficult executors,
  • feuding beneficiaries,
  • irregularities in the Will or Will making process (i.e. influence from third parties, fraud),
  • issues with the capacity of the person whose Will it was,
  • validity of the Will,
  • not receiving your entitlement to gifts received under the Will.

Who can contest a Will?

There are certain people who may contest an estate include the following:

  • Beneficiaries of the final Will;
  • Individuals or organisations promised an inheritance;
  • Individuals or organisations who have been disinherited;
  • Other third parties affected by the present Will or a previous Will;
  • Individuals who are or were related to the Deceased or who were dependent upon the Deceased.

 

How to contest a Will or an estate?

Holmes & Hills Solicitors team of experts has a wealth of experience successfully disputing Wills, making claims against estates, as well as defending Executors and estates against claims. Below are some of the tactics that can be employed, subject to circumstances, when proceeding with a dispute.

 

Gaining sight of the Will

Holmes & Hills register can interest on your behalf in seeing the Will once the Grant of Probate is registered, then upon receipt of the Will we report back the findings to you and highlight any queries that appear.

 

Making enquiries and building evidence

Holmes & Hills draft a letter to the person or company who made the disputed Will and question how the Will was made and brief details of why we believe you are entitled to claim against the estate. Upon any response we shall report back on our findings and if needed raise further letters and questions to the Will maker.

 

Disputing Executors actions

Should you feel that the Executors are not acting in the best interest of the estate or that they are not responding to enquiries, we are able to make an application to the probate registry that acts to prevent the Executors from being able to apply for the Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration (please note: we can only apply for this caveat before the application is sent in by the executors / administrators).

The aim of filing this application is so that both parties can amicably agree to a solution to issues with the estate. Should the parties not agree, or there is no response from the estate, the next stage would be to file proceedings with the Court.

 

Dispute Resolution

Our team of litigators are experienced in successfully advising and representing clients in relation to complex disputes and in cases that proceed to Court.

When advising you on a dispute, our aim is to protect your interests and successfully resolve your dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible in your favour. We achieve this through delivering strategic advice on how the claim (or defence) should be managed, and implementing this strategy to its full effect.

 

Court Proceedings

Holmes & Hills Solicitors can guide and support you through every step of the court proceedings whether you are bringing or defending a claim relating to a Will dispute or action against an estate. This includes preparing your strongest possible case for Court, to ensure you stand the greatest chance of success. As you would expect, your expert contentious probate solicitor will provide you with advice and guidance at each and every stage of the Court process.

 

The first step to getting advice

To find out how we can help with your Will dispute or estate claim, call us on 01376 320456 (Essex) or 01787 275275 (Suffolk).

*Fixed Fee services to be agreed at the time of instruction and limited to the specific scope outlined in the instruction. Any work outside the instructed work shall incur an additional charge to be agreed before any work is undertaken.


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© Holmes & Hills LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales under Registration Number OC352397.Registered Office Dale Chambers, Bocking End, Braintree, Essex CM7 9AJ. A list of partners' names is available at this address.

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