Inheritence Dispute

Here at Pepperells, we understand that it is always a difficult time in somebody’s life after suffering a loss, with many people to contact and things to organise. However, we are seeing more instances where people have been left out or removed from a Will prior to a loved one’s death, leaving more stress and upset for the people left behind.

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For advice on any aspect of contentious probate, contact our team of specialist probate solicitors. Our solicitors are based in Hull, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley, Newcastle, Willerby and London

Contentious Probate

Challenging a Will

Every person in the UK has the right to testamentary freedom which means they are able to leave their assets to whomever they choose when they pass away. This unfortunately can result in some people who ordinarily would expect to receive a share of an estate missing out, which can often leave family members hurt and confused.

Such family members may be thinking ‘how am I not entitled to any of the estate’, ‘How have I been left out of my parents’ Will’ or ‘did they have capacity to make that Will’? There are different avenues for a contentious probate claim and challenging a Will, which are outlined below.

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975

This act allows certain categories of people to bring a claim against an estate if they feel they have not been left a reasonable provision in a Will.

Bringing a claim under this act is not easy and can be quite time consuming and costly, with no guarantee of success. If, however, you feel that you have been left out of a Will, despite being financially dependent on the person who has died, please do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

Capacity and Undue Influence

Another way to challenge a Will is to prove that the Will is invalid due to lack of capacity or undue influence. Maybe you are concerned that a relative was not aware of the contents of their Will before they signed it. They could have been suffering from an illness which affected their capacity at the time of signing, or perhaps you felt somebody else was influencing them to make their Will in a certain way.

If you have any concerns similar to these, you may be able to challenge the validity of the Will. If you successfully challenge a Will on these grounds, this would potentially mean a previous Will may be reinstated or the deceased would die intestate (in which case the law dictates who will receive the estate). Therefore, careful thought needs to be given before proceeding with any claim and you should seek legal advice to understand the implications of making a claim.

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