A UK contested probate solicitor specialises in cases that involve disputing a will. It is a difficult task to find a probate lawyer who also has courtroom experience. Solicitors tend to take one of two paths. Either they do courtroom work or they don’t. Yet, when it comes to probate law, litigation is far from uncommon and both skills are required. Those unhappy with the terms of a will can instruct a UK contested probate solicitor to attack its validity on several grounds. Also, dependents of the deceased can bring a legal action demanding support if it’s not provided for in the will.
For a UK contested probate solicitor to start legal action for disputing a will it is necessary for the will to be defective in some way. In order to be valid, there are certain legal requirements that a will must meet. Should the testator make even a single mistake, the entire will could be invalid. If the will does not meet each one of the requirements below, it can be challenged in court:
- the testator cannot be a minor; for a will to be valid, the testator must be at least 18 years of age at the time of making the will
- the testator must not have been subjected to any undue influence whilst making the will; the document must have been prepared under the testator’s own free will
- the testator must be of sound mind at the time of making the will and must fully understand its meaning
- the will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the document
- neither witness to the signing of the will should be a beneficiary or they will lose their inheritance
From time to time it happens that the deceased’s original will is lost. When the deceased’s will is lost, the proposed executor may obtain a Grant of Probate by proving the validity of a copy of the will before the High Court. Sometimes, however, the proposed executor may face challenges, disputing a will that has been lost, brought by an individual who is a beneficiary of the deceased’s earlier will but not of the will in question. This individual would attempt to argue that the will is not lost but was intentionally destroyed by the deceased as a means of revoking it. Cases that involve disputing a will are complicated matters requiring a good deal of evidence. Anyone who finds themselves facing this issue should speak with a contested probate solicitor as soon as possible.
Dependents of the testator are legally entitled to continued support after the testator’s death. Individuals who may be dependents include a minor, spouse, partner or mentally disabled person. When a will does not include adequate support for the dependents, that will can be challenged in court. The dependent can bring an action based on the grounds that the deceased did not fulfill their legal obligation.
Contact ACTAPS – The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists for free, no obligation advice about finding an experienced UK contested probate solicitor to assist you in disputing a will or any other related matter.