The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult and upsetting processes we have to go through in life. This process can be even more difficult and upsetting where there is a dispute about a Will or what happens to the estate. Of course, emotions will sometimes run high and, sadly, these types of dispute can often tear families apart. Trying to find a solution to this type of problem can be a minefield. Here, at hpjv solicitors, we will do our best to take the stress out of the situation by giving you clear advice on how the Law applies to your issue and by helping you to achieve the best and most realistic outcome.
What sort of Will disputes can we help you with?
Disputes can arise in all manner of circumstances, including issues as to the validity of the Will or the denial of an inheritance whether under the Intestacy Rules (where there is no Will or the Will is invalid) or under the terms of the Will itself.
Validity of the Will
Issues as to the validity of a Will can arise from, for example, lack of capacity (the Will is invalid if the person making it lacked mental capacity), the person making the Will was subject to undue influence by another person, the Will was not properly drafted & witnessed (a common problem with home made Wills), allegations of fraud and forgery in relation to the Will, ambiguous wording leading to difficulties in interpreting the Will and understanding how the estate is to be distributed.
Whether you are a family member or other person affected by the Will or whether you are an Executor faced with a claim as to the validity of the Will, then we can help by offering you the advice and assistance you need to deal with these issues. We can also take practical steps on your behalf such as obtaining a Caveat (a temporary stay on the distribution of the estate while a claim is investigated), issuing court proceedings on your behalf, defending court proceedings on your behalf, and, arranging legal representation at court.
Denial of inheritance
If there is no Will, or the Will is invalid, the estate falls to be distributed under the Intestacy Rules. Whether you are a person who thinks you have been denied an inheritance which you are entitled to or whether you are an administrator of an estate faced with a claim from a person who believes they are entitled to an inheritance, then we can help by offering you the advice and assistance you need to deal with these issues.
Whether there is a Will or not, we can also help with claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975. The law in this area is complex and most people making a claim or facing a claim under this Act will benefit from the expert advice that we are able to offer. In summary, if a family member or someone who was dependant on the deceased has not been provided for (or inadequately provided for) in the Will or under the Intestacy Rules, they can make a claim against the estate through court proceedings under the Act.
If you are a person who wishes to make a claim, then we are able to help you with our expert and professional advice. We can advise whether there are grounds to make a claim and, if so, take the necessary steps to help you make a claim. We can also negotiate on your behalf to try to reach an agreed settlement through a Deed of Variation. Remember that there is a 6 month time limit (from the date of grant of probate or letters of administration) to make a claim, so you need to contact us without delay if you need advice and assistance.
If you are the executor or administrator of an estate and you are faced with a claim under the Act, we can also help with our expert and professional advice. We can advise whether the person making the claim has grounds to make it, take any necessary steps to help you defend the claim, and, where appropriate, help you to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement of the claim.
If you need advice with regards to Inheritance Disputes but you aren’t sure what to do, let us give you the answers. Contact us today for an informal, no-obligation, chat or to arrange a Free First Consultation.