Estate & Inheritance Dispute Solicitors
Our estate & inheritance dispute solicitors can help you resolve issues with executing a will and assist you in providing financial security for your loved ones. We work tirelessly to help resolve disputes quickly to minimise the risk of court proceedings.
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Why Choose Ansham White Solicitors?
At Ansham White Solicitors, our team of estate and inheritance dispute experts acknowledge that the death of a loved one is always a distressing and emotional time for those involved. Therefore, we closely work alongside our clients to ensure that the process as simply as possible.
Our legal experts are able to assist you with all Will and Probate related matters including, obtaining grants of probate, letters of administration, cases of Will disputes, Contested probate and Inheritance claims.
Our team of probate lawyers have over 20 years of extensive experience in dealing with complex estate matters.
Our Wills and Probate team have specialist knowledge in handling all aspects of estate administration and provide both a professional and personal service. We offer compassionate and sympathetic advice to ensure that the process from start to finish is dealt with in the most efficient manner possible. Our aim is to lift the burden of Probate from our client in a cost-effective manner.
Book your FREE 20 minute discussion with our Probate Solicitors on 0208 634 5850
What is an inheritance dispute?
Inheritance disputes or probate claims fall into three main categories:
- A claim can be brought by an executor, beneficiary, or a person disputing the will’s validity to ask the court to determine if the will or the testamentary paper is valid in whole or in part. This is called propounding or challenging the will in solemn form. The court can be asked to revoke or rectify the will where appropriate.
- Disputing the people involved
- Lack of testamentary capacity (the mental capacity needed to make a valid will)
- A person who believes they are entitled to a provision in the will may claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This is quite common in estate disputes.
- Disputing the grant of representation that has been issued: the court can be asked to revoke the grant of representation because either the will was not valid or the personal representative is not entitled to administer the estate.
A dispute between executors would commonly be resolved per the procedure set out above in respect of contesting a will, i.e., initial correspondence, mediation, and issuing proceedings.
Call our team for advice on 0208 634 5850 for help with inheritance disputes.
How long does someone have to claim against an estate?
The basic rule is that probate claims are not subject to any statutory limitation period.
The following are exceptions:
- There is a 12-year limit on bringing a claim to the deceased’s estate or to any share or interest in any such estate, whether under a will or on intestacy, per s.22 of the Limitation Act 1980. This applies when a claimant has an interest in an estate. It does not apply to a claim to determine whether a person has a share or interest in the estate.
- Claims for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 must be issued within six months of the grant of probate or letters of administration. The court can grant an extension of time, but this will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.
- Breach of trust claims must be brought within six years of the breach under s 21(3) of the Limitation Act 1980. This does not apply to breaches of trust resulting from fraud.
Who pays for inheritance disputes or defending a dispute?
Whenever contesting a will, if your claim proceeds to trial, the standard order is that the winning party has their reasonable costs paid by the losing party.
You should first check any insurance you may have, which may cover legal expenses. For example, some bank cards and home insurance policies include such insurance. You can also speak to a solicitor to ask if they will act on your behalf using a conditional fee agreement (commonly known as a no-win no-fee agreement). While such agreements cover your own costs, they do not include the opponent’s costs in the event that you lose the claim. If you are unable to fund your claim through legal expenses insurance or a conditional fee agreement, a solicitor will usually request hourly payment.
One of the most important decisions when writing a will is deciding who to appoint as an executor. Therefore, it is important to choose someone