Whether contesting a will or filing for contentious probate, we have the experience to help you get through this process in December 2023.
With over 20 years of experience, with an extensive legal team, we pride ourselves as probate specialists in Great Malvern, we know how to handle your case.
We are honest and straightforward with our clients and work hard to ensure they feel comfortable and efficiently resolve disputes. We believe every client should be treated like family, so we treat them as such.
This is a guide to contesting a will win no fee. We will give you the basics of how this works and what you can expect with contentious probate cases.
Why Choose Us for Contesting a Will No Win No Fee
If your family member has died and you suspect their will was invalid or made by someone who does not have the mental capacity to do so, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, get in touch with us for advice at no legal costs, we are the probate specialists in Great Malvern just a phone call away.
We have years of experience contesting a will and resolving inheritance dispute with the solicitors regulation authority, and we can provide you with expert advice on whether or not it is possible to contest a will.
We also offer no win, no fee services, plus deferred fees options, so you do not have to worry about paying any upfront fixed fee if we lose your case.
A professional solicitor can advise on whether or not you should contest a will within the solicitors regulation authority, and help you navigate through the process so that everything runs smoothly.
The solicitor will also be able to advise on what kind of compensation may be available if they win their case against the estate executor. Our conditional fee agreements have been designed to help us help you resolve inheritance disputes in a smooth manner.
This could include anything from financial compensation for their loss and pain suffered through having their loved one’s wishes ignored during the legal process up until their death, or it could be conditional fee agreements paid for any expenses incurred during this period, such as loss of earnings due to time spent traveling between Cardiff and London for example.
What Are The Grounds For Contesting A Will?
The following are grounds for contesting a will:
Want of due execution
This is the most common ground for contesting a will in Great Malvern. It refers to failing to sign the will in front of two witnesses as required by law.
The witnesses must be present simultaneously and in person, and their signatures must be affixed to each page of the document immediately after it is signed by the testator (person making the will).
The witnesses should also attest that they were present when the testator signed their will. If any of these requirements are not fulfilled, then there is no validly executed will, and all choices that follow it are invalid.
Want knowledge and approval?
This ground involves improper execution of a document by someone who did not know what they were signing and did not believe what was written in the paper was accurate.
For example, if someone forged another person’s signature on a will without their knowledge or approval, they would have grounds to contest such a document because they did not know what it contained, nor did they approve of what was written therein.
If you believe that someone in Great Malvern manipulated or coerced a loved one into making a certain decision about their estate plan, undue influence may be at play. For example, suppose that an elderly man was persuaded by his daughter to leave all his money to her instead of his grandchildren.
When he died, the grandchildren filed a will contest against the daughter claiming that undue influence was used to convince their grandfather to change his estate plan drastically.
Fraudulent calumny occurs when someone intentionally deceives another person into signing a document that they believe serves their interests but benefits someone else.
For example, if an attorney makes false promises to convince someone to sign over money to them instead of their loved ones in exchange for guaranteed future payments, this would be considered fraudulent calumny and could be grounds for contesting a will.
Fraud or forgery
If someone signed a will under duress or without knowing what they were signing, the court might find the signature fraudulent or forged.
For example, if your grandpa signed his will after being told that he was signing a document that would make him eligible for a nursing home, but he was signing his property over to someone else in Great Malvern, the signature may be invalidated as fraudulent.
Lack of testamentary capacity
A person must have the ability to understand their actions when writing a will, otherwise, these are grounds of dispute.
They must understand the nature and extent of their property, lifetime gifts, and its value; remember who they are; know what’s happening in their lives, and appreciate how their actions affect others. If someone lacks this ability, they cannot make a valid will.
If you believe that someone lacked testamentary capacity or was in ill health when they wrote their will, you can contest it on those grounds by filing an affidavit with the court clerk’s office or contentious probate court in the county where the deceased lived at the time of death or where they were domiciled (lived permanently).
What Happens When Contesting a Will
Submitting a formal claim
Once you submit a formal claim to your insurance company in Great Malvern, they will investigate the incident and determine whether or not your policy covered it.
If it were, they would issue payment for damages to your vehicle, medical expenses, and any other legal expenses insurance costs associated with the accident.
If it wasn’t covered, you could expect to hear from your insurance company’s claims adjuster, who will inform you of the reasons for denying coverage.
Resolving the dispute
If there is any disagreement about what is or isn’t covered by your policy, then you should expect to be contacted by the company’s legal department, who will try to resolve any disagreements between the two parties.
You may be asked to provide additional documentation or even have an attorney representing you during this process. Hopefully, all parties involved can work out an agreement that benefits everyone involved so that no one has to issue court proceedings.
The process of contesting a will
Contesting a will is complicated especially if involves the inheritance act claims as it will require some investigatory work, but it can be done with specialist lawyers.
If you’re interested in contesting a choice, it’s essential to understand the steps that need to be taken and the inheritance act, discuss the conditional fee agreement, and the consequences of such action, and probably evaluate your funding options.
Contesting a will or even challenging lifetime gifts is not something to be taken lightly, but if you have solid grounds for contesting one, it may be worth the time and expense involved in fighting for what you believe is rightfully yours.
The first step in contesting a will is hiring specialist Great Malvern lawyers of contentious probate law or estate planning.
Once you’ve found a contentious trusts lawyer or a consultant with equivalent standing ready to offer legal help with a favourable fee agreement, the next step is to provide him with as much information as possible about your situation, so that he can give you an accurate assessment of whether or not there are sufficient grounds for claims based on your evidence.
And at this point, he will also be in a better position to discuss the conditional fee agreement.
If your attorney believes there are grounds for challenging the will, he’ll probably suggest you file a petition asking the court to allow you to do so.
This petition is formally known as a “bill of exceptions” because it contains all the information and necessary circumstances to prove why someone should not inherit under their parent’s estate plan.
How To Contest A Will
Contesting a will is complicated. The first step is understanding the case progresses, which begins with filing complaint disputes with the contentious probate court. The person filing the claim must have equivalent standing and evidence of how they were unfairly left out and be ready to cover the success fee.
Once you’ve filed your complaint, you’ll need to prepare for trial. If you’re successful in your claim and can convince the court that the will should be invalidated, you’ll become an interested party in the Great Malvern estate, which means you’ll have legal representation and other rights as provided under the law as long as you meet the fee agreement.
If unsuccessful, however, your involvement ends there, unless there’s another issue regarding property distribution under the inheritance act claims.
What Is The Time Limit For Contesting A Will?
The time limit for contesting a will is usually very short. Usually, you have to file the petition within six months of the date that the will was admitted to contentious probate.
If there is more than one person who claims to be entitled to inherit under the inheritance act claims and there is no provision for resolving such claims in the will, then each person who claims must file a separate petition for determination within six months of the date that the will was admitted to contentious probate.
How Much Does It Cost To Contest A Will in Great Malvern?
The cost of contesting a will in Great Malvern depends on your circumstances the average success fee is from £2,000 and above, but there are some general guidelines used for legal fee funding or any deferred fees arrangements.
First, you must remember that you have no automatic legal right to challenge a will if you are not named as a beneficiary, according to the inheritance act claims.
However, if you are named as a beneficiary and don’t believe that the deceased intended for the estate to pass to you in the way it was divided up by the will, that is, there is an inheritance dispute, then you may have grounds for challenging it.
The next thing to consider is whether or not you want to challenge any specific clause within the previous will or simply dispute who should receive what portion of the claim.
This can make a big difference regarding fee basis, how much you will pay for the will to file a petition against an estate. This is because each type of petition has its associated fixed fee funding and expenses.
It’s also important to note that if there is no inheritance dispute over any specific clause within a will but only concern over who should receive what portion of an estate, it may be more affordable in terms of the success fee than if multiple clauses were being questioned or disputed.
In most cases, the legal costs for filing a petition against an estate is around £20-£30 (plus VAT). But the fee basis can easily be discussed with your lawyer and try suitable funding options to ensure the inheritance dispute claim can take off
How Else Can I Fund a Contested Will Claim
Considering a contested will claim in Great Malvern, it is important to understand how much it will cost, in terms of legal costs and your fund options for the claim.
No win no fee
The most common way to fund a contested will claim is through no win, no fee agreements. The solicitor or barrister will receive their fee funding only if they successfully overturn the will and you obtain your inheritance.
If they fail, they do not get the fixed fee, and you do not have to pay them anything. This means that there is no risk for you as you are not paying anything unless the claim is successful. However, other costs may be involved, such as court fees and legal costs for the legal team.
Damages-based agreement (DBA)
A DBA allows solicitors to recover damages if they are successful in their claim against someone who has wrongfully deprived them of their inheritance.
The amount recovered is usually less than if it had been retrieved through litigation. However, it can still be substantial enough to justify using this fee funding method in a contested will claim.
Deferring your fee is an option that many solicitors will offer. This means you pay them when the case is over, and you win, not before.
The solicitor will usually take a percentage of the sum they recover on your behalf, but they are also taking a risk in taking on the case as it means they won’t get the success fee if they lose.
Privately funded claims
If you have enough money to cover all costs, then funding your claim privately is another route to go down. When a case goes to court, legal fees will always be involved – even if you win or lose.
If you have money set aside for this purpose, then it’s worth looking into private fee funding, as it means that the solicitor doesn’t take any risk and can concentrate more on winning your case rather than worrying about whether or not they’re going to there success fee later down the line.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance (sometimes known as litigation cover) covers the legal costs of taking court action if the policyholder is successful in the case. It might be worth your while getting advice on whether or not you can claim legal expenses insurance to help as funding options for your will claim in Great Malvern.
After the event insurance
After the event, insurance (ATE) can be used as a fee funding option for a will dispute if you are successful in your claim. This type of policy covers any losses incurred after an event occurred, even though it happened before it was insured against.
ATE policies are designed for people who have made mistakes with their original wills and want to make amendments but do not want to pay for them out of their pocket.
Who pays to contest a will?
The fee basis of contesting a will is paid by the person contesting it. However, if you win, the court can order that the estate pay your legal fees. The court may also order costs against a party who has acted unreasonably or without reasonable grounds.
Can I get legal aid to contest a will?
In general, Legal aid does not cover success fee for most wills and estate matters. However, if you are on a low income and have been left out of the will of someone who died without leaving a spouse or child, you may qualify for costs being covered under legal aid.
Contest A Will Services
Our firm handles will contests for all types of estates, including:
If an estate is subject to contentious probate, you can challenge the validity of a will through a formal proceeding known as a “contested probate.”
This type of case is brought in the contentious probate court, where the decedent resided at the time of death or where the property is located. If your challenge is successful, you would receive any property left to you by the decedent’s will in Great Malvern.
If no valid will exists, then an intestate estate occurs when there are no heirs or beneficiaries who are named in the decedent’s last will and testament.
In this case, an heir could petition for letters testamentary or administrator with will annexed so they could take responsibility for administering the estate without having to file a petition.
If you have reason to believe that your loved one wrote out a will but didn’t sign it before they passed away, then you may have grounds for contesting their will. You can also challenge a choice if they were not mentally competent when they drafted their last wishes.
This is when someone has intentionally forged or fraudulently altered another person’s last will and testament. This could be done by an heir or beneficiary who wants to gain more money than what was originally written down by the deceased person.
Contesting a will after probate
The process of contesting a will in Great Malvern after probate is not as difficult as it might sound. In fact, if you feel that the choice does not accurately reflect your loved one’s wishes and you were unfairly left out, it is important to speak with a probate attorney or a senior employee who can guide you through the process.
The first step in contesting a will or handling an inheritance dispute is to file a petition for probate with the court. This must be done within 30 days of the date the will was admitted to probate and must include the following information:
- The name of the person who died and their date of death.
- The name and contact information for all beneficiaries named in the will.
- A copy of the original will.
If you are challenging your parent’s will because they did not have capacity when they signed it, you must prove this by bringing copies of medical records or other evidence proving that they lacked mental capacity at the time they signed their will.
Contesting a will time limits
There are two types of time limits for contesting a will:
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a specific period within which you must file your claim for an inheritance dispute. If you don’t file within this time limit, you lose the right to challenge the will in court.
A formal challenge is made by filing a petition for probate with the court. You can only make this kind of challenge if someone else has already filed a written notice of intent to contest the will or if someone has already filed a petition for probate of the will.
Contested Probate Claims
Any person interested in the estate can file a contested probate claim. This includes:
- The surviving spouse and children of a deceased person.
- Other family members, such as siblings or cousins.
- Non-family members who are owed money by the deceased person (such as creditors).
If there is no will and if there are no heirs at law named in the intestacy law of your state, then anyone with interest in the estate can file a “Will Contest” (or “Claim Against an Estate”) in probate court.
Contesting a Will Solicitors Great Malvern
Solicitors can help you contest a will for a variety of reasons. Some of these are:
- The deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a valid will.
- The will was made under duress or undue influence.
- There was fraud in the creation of the will.
- The testator (the creator of the will) was not of sound mind at the time it was created.
Are handwritten wills valid?
Yes, handwritten wills are perfectly valid.
The only requirements for a will to be considered legal must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person who wrote the will), and dated. The testator does not have to be present when the will is read or probated, nor does anyone have to witness their signature.
In fact, there are many advantages to having a handwritten will:
- You can make edits as needed without having to create new documents, which can save time and money, especially when looking into funding options.
- A handwritten will is easier to keep private than an electronic version, which could get shared with others by accident; -It can be more convenient than other types of wills if you don’t have access to a computer or printer.
- You can write your language or style of handwriting if you want it to reflect who you are as a person.
Do I need to involve a court in contesting a will?
If you’re contesting a will in Great Malvern, you probably have lots of questions, especially the fee basis. And if you don’t know the answers, it’s natural to be worried about what might happen next with inheritance disputes.
The short answer is: no, you don’t need a court to contest a will as a result this makes the success fee more manageable. But if you want to contest the will and also have something to gain by doing so—for example, if there’s money in the estate that would go to others if you were disinherited—then you may want to involve an attorney or senior employee who can help guide you through this process and help protect your interests through the inheritance disputes.
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
The Inheritance disputes (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is a statutory instrument of the United Kingdom Parliament that provides family provision orders and other related matters. Lord Chancellor Thurlow introduced it to replace the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which had been considered unsatisfactory.
The inheritance disputes Act deals with the division of property between spouses (married or civil partners), unmarried couples, and children if one family member dies without leaving a will.
The Act also allows for divorce, separation, and financial claims between cohabitants who live together as if they were married or in a civil partnership.
Married couples or civil partners can make wills to leave their assets to their spouse or partner if they die first.
Still, under the inheritance disputes Act, their spouse or partner can apply for financial provision as funding options from the deceased’s estate if they don’t have enough money to maintain themselves after the deceased’s death.
The court has powers to order success fee payments from an estate even if there is no will. A parent who has custody of children may apply for financial support as funding options from another parent who does not have custody, even if there is no court order awarding this responsibility.
Can you contest a solicitor’s will?
Yes, you can contest a solicitor’s will in Great Malvern, but it is expensive when you look into the success fee and time-consuming. However, if your circumstances have changed since the original will was made, then you may be able to have the will overturned.
Is contesting a will expensive?
Yes, the success fee can be expensive during inheritance disputes, whether you do so yourself or employ a solicitor. You could save money by doing it yourself, but this would only be worth doing if you are confident that the case against your father’s wishes is strong enough to win.
How long do I have to contest a will?
You have six months from the date of death to commence proceedings in court against your father’s wishes set out in his last will and testament.
If there is any dispute about who has been named as an executor under his will, then any such proceedings must be commenced within 12 months from the date of death or within 12 months from the date of probate, whichever comes later.
If there are no disputes about who has been named as executor, then action can be taken at any time within six months from the date of death or until 12 months after probate, whichever comes first.
Can you contest a will without a solicitor?
Yes, you can contest a will without a solicitor, but it’s not recommended. You’re much more likely to succeed if you have the help of an experienced professional regulated by the solicitors regulation authority..
Can will be contested on behalf of someone else?
Yes, wills can be contested on behalf of someone else, but they may not be able to contest them on their behalf. To do so, they will have to have been appointed as an executor or administrator by the deceased before they die.
Can an executor contest a will?
Yes, executors in Great Malvern can contest a will if they think it isn’t valid or doesn’t agree with its contents. However, they must act quickly after being named as an executor for their challenge to be considered valid under British law; otherwise, it may be too late for them to make any changes!
What happens when a will is contested?
When a will is contested, someone has made an official complaint about its validity and content. The case will go through the courts until one party wins over another.
Can anyone contest a will?
Yes, anyone can contest a will. The only exception is if the person who died was married and had children at the time of their death. In this case, only the spouse can contest the will.
Can A Will be overturned after Probate?
Yes, if you have evidence that someone was incapable of making their own decisions when they made their will. This may include dementia or brain damage, for example.
Can a will be contested by a sibling?
No, siblings cannot contest a will unless they have been left out entirely or were left less than what they expected to receive under the terms of their sibling’s will.
Can grandchildren contest a will?
No, grandchildren cannot contest a will unless they were left out entirely or were left less than what they expected to receive under the terms of their grandparent’s will.
When can a will be contested?
A will can be contested if the person who wrote it does not have the mental capacity to do so. For example, if you suspect that your loved one was not of sound mind when they wrote their will and are unsure if it was written according to their wishes, you should speak with an attorney. You may be able to contest the will if the language is unclear or the person’s intentions are not clear.
How can I get a copy of the will if I feel I haven’t been included?
You can request a copy of your loved one’s will from the probate court by filling out a form called an “affidavit for missing will” or “affidavit for lost will” and submitting it with proof of identification to a local probate court.
How We Can Help in Great Malvern
If you don’t think your family member’s will is legitimate and you want to contest it, we can help. We are regulated by the solicitors regulation authority, and can help you with whatever you need.
Our firm’s experienced attorneys are ready to take on the task of disputing a will for you. We’re committed to helping you get the fair settlement you deserve, and we’ll work hard to ensure that your inheritance is handled correctly and fairly.
Contact us today if you’d like more information about how we can help contest a will win no fee!
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