Contested Wills, Inheritance Act Claims and Contentious Probate Disputes Solicitors in Devon
We pride ourselves on providing a sensitive approach to your dispute whilst fighting your corner to ensure we achieve the best result
For a FREE assessment of your contentious probate case call our Contested Wills Helpline on: 0800 052 3620
We know how painful it can be when you lose a loved one and how upsetting it can be if they have favoured another friend or family member in their will or have not provided you with the financial protection you would expect.
We understand that during the initial period after someone’s passing it is extremely difficult for people to consider seeking legal advice. However, it is crucially important that specialist advice is obtained as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose the ability to challenge the distribution of the estate. Strict time limits operate and you could lose out if you don’t act quickly.
We are one of a few firms in England who have a team of dedicated contentious probate solicitors dealing specifically with contested wills and inheritance disputes. We have a growing reputation in this highly specialised field and represent clients from all over England and Wales. Our disputed will lawyers are based at our office in Exeter, but they frequently travel to our other offices in North Devon at Barnstaple, South Molton, Bideford and Braunton.
Finding a solicitor who is a specialist in contentious probate cases is not easy as most solicitors are either specialists in litigation, but not probate or are probate lawyers with no experience of litigation. Slee Blackwell Solicitors offer a rare blend of both specialisms within one department.
It is so important that you instruct a solicitor who is familiar with both areas to achieve the best result. You will often find non-contentious probate solicitors "dabbling" in litigation and contentious probate disputes but the risks are too high for you if they get it wrong. Play it safe and contact us today for your free initial assessment of your contested will dispute by one of our specialist lawyers.
What is Contentious Probate?
Contentious Probate is the term used for any dispute arising in relation to the distribution of a deceased person's estate, including disputed wills and Inheritance Act claims.
The types of contested probate cases our lawyers regularly deal with include:-
1. Claims challenging the validity of a will on the grounds of:
- lack of mental capacity;
- undue influence;
- lack of knowledge or approval;
- failure to comply with the formalities of executing a will correctly;
- revocation by a later will;
- fraud and/or forgery
2. Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision from the estate
3. Claims to revoke a Grant of Representation improperly obtained
4. Claims seeking the directions of the Court regarding the administration of the estate including applications to remove and replace executors/trustees where it is alleged they have acted in breach of trust
5. Claims for the rectification of a will where it can be shown it does not represent the deceased's intentions
6. Claims relating to trusts (including resulting and constructive trusts)
7. Disputes between beneficiaries and executors or between co-executors
8. Claims relating to mutual wills
In addition, our professional negligence team can also provide you with a free initial assessment if a will is valid but you believe the Solicitor who drafted it may have been negligent in carrying out the deceased's wishes.
Resolving Your Dispute
Judges are becoming more concerned that parties to a dispute should try to resolve claims before they reach the courtroom and this principle is as applicable to contested will claims and inheritance disputes as any other area of litigation.
Slee Blackwell Solicitors are strong advocates of attempting to resolve disputes using alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and early neutral evaluation. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is particularly beneficial to our contentious probate clients as it provides a better opportunity to restore family relationships after the dispute is resolved and enables you to move on to grieve fully for your loved one more quickly and with less distress.
Whilst we will always work closely with you in trying to reach a practical solution to your contested will dispute, ADR is not always successful. If negotiation fails we will use our experience and expertise to guide you through the court process in seeking the court's final decision on your dispute.
To find out where you stand, speak to one of our specialist contentious probate and contested wills solicitors for a FREE assessment of your case and to help you with contesting a will - visit www.contesting-wills.co.uk
Alternatively, you can pop into our office in Queen Street Exeter, or make an appointment to see a solicitor at one of our North Devon offices at Barnstaple, South Molton, Bideford and Braunton.
Government Guidance:- http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/index.htm
Pension Guidance:- www.thepensionservice.gov.uk
Bereavement Support- www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk