We can provide advice and assistance in all situations where a claim needs to be brought, or where a claim is threatened or proceedings are issued. We have experience in dealing with cases for claimants and defendants, and litigation involving children. We aim to ensure that disputes are settled as early as possible, thereby reducing costs and delay.
What kind of disputes can arise?
Disputes can arise at the outset, for example, if any of the following questions/issues arise:
- Does the will and/or the Intestacy Rules make reasonable financial provision for you? If not, can you or others bring a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Was there a later will?
- Did the testator have mental capacity at the time of the last will?
- Did he / she understand the contents of the last will and its consequences?
- Were the strict signing formalities correctly observed when the last will was completed?
- Was the last will made under pressure from (i.e. under the undue influence of) a beneficiary?
- Is the particular executor or administrator suitable to deal with the estate?
- Were promises made that certain assets would pass on death in a way that is not included in the last will?
Disputes can also arise in the course of administering an estate, for example, if any of the following questions/issues arise:
- Are the terms of the will ambiguous?
In terms of the executors or administrators of the estate:
- Have their actions caused delay to the administration?
- What if they fall out with each other?
- What if they prefer the interests of one beneficiary over those of another?
- What if they fail to sufficiently safeguard the assets for the beneficiaries or sell assets at an undervalue?
- What if they fail to produce accounts?
- What if you are an executor or administrator facing these allegations?
These questions/issues can give rise to a claim against a will or an estate or those responsible for administering the estate. It is a non-exhaustive list, so please contact us if you need help in making or defending such a claim.
What is the benefit of using us?
Our expert lawyers will provide practical advice on safeguarding your position (for example by entering a caveat against the estate) and on then resolving the dispute outside of the Court process, if possible. If necessary, an application will be made to the Court. Whatever action is taken, we will take particular care to minimise the risks you face on costs, and to see what can be done to recover costs from the estate or from your opponent.
In addition, working closely with our specialist Wills, Probate, Trusts and Tax Planning team, we advise on preventative measures that can be taken by clients to try to avoid such disputes.