Can you contest a Will after probate?
Our 5-star awarded Contested Probate Team answer your most frequently asked questions about disputing a Will after someone has died.
⚠️ An important warning: there is a strict time limit for contesting a Will, with most claims needing to be made within six months from the grant of probate being issued. In some instances, the Court can allow claims beyond this period, but it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible in order to find out where you stand. If you are worried about meeting the deadline to contest a Will after probate, speak to our legal team now.
“Someone has died, but I don’t agree with the Will. Can I contest a Will after probate?”
Yes, you can contest a Will after probate. Dealing with disputes after someone has died is becoming an increasing issue in the UK, and one which requires both a sensitive approach and an expertise in the law. If you believe something has gone wrong and you need to dispute a Will after someone has died, it is vital to speak to a trusted and experienced Solicitor.
“We have been very impressed with Burt Brill & Cardens service. Nothing has been too much trouble for any of the staff and they have all been professional, helpful and friendly. They are also very prompt at responding to emails and always send a detailed and thought through reply, answering all of the questions that you have asked…we would highly recommend Burt Brill & Cardens to anyone who is looking for a really good solicitor whom you can have full trust in.”
“How do I know if I have the right to make a claim?”
To contest a probate, you need to meet certain criteria. You can contest a Will if you are:
- A beneficiary under the Will
- Someone who is owed money by the deceased
- Someone who was promised something by the deceased
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 also sets out who can make a claim. For example, if you were part of the family or were being looked after by the deceased, then you may be entitled to contest a Will.
To make a claim under this Act, you must fit into one of the following categories:
- A spouse of the person who has passed away.
- A former spouse of the person who has passed away, only if you have not remarried.
- A partner who lived with the deceased for at least 2 years immediately before the death.
- A child of the person who has passed away.
- A person who was treated as a child of the family by the person who passed away.
- Someone who was supported financially (partly or totally) by the person who has died.
“What are the grounds to contest a Will after probate?”
As expert contested probate solicitors, we act for clients in many different circumstances. You may have concerns about the mental capacity of the person who made the Will, or you might have been promised something by the deceased that wasn’t reflected in the Will. The main reasons for contesting a Will after probate are usually:
- The person signing the Will did not know or understand what they were signing
- The person signing the Will was persuaded or pressured to sign it
- The person signing the Will did not have proper mental capacity
- The Will was not signed and witnessed properly
- The person making the Will promised you something but it was not in the Will
- The Will was not administered properly – you don’t believe that the Executors followed the wishes set out in the Will
- The Will did not adequately provide for you and you are someone entitled to claim for provision.
Every situation is unique, so if you are unsure, speak to our legal team to see if you have a claim.
“Will I need to go to Court to contest a Will?”
We will work with you to pursue your claim in the most cost effective way, which will involve trying to settle your claim through mediation first. Our first step will be to send a formal Letter of Claim to the opposing party and/or the deceased’s Executors. Usually we include an invitation to try and settle the claim at mediation, rather than going straight to Court. This can often help to keep costs down and reach an early settlement.
If mediation is unsuccessful, our expert litigators will issue formal court proceedings to contest the Will in Court and will be by your side every step of the way.
“How do I contest a Will after probate?”
Contested Wills are becoming an increasing issue. In response to the many enquiries we receive around disputes and Wills, our legal team have created our ‘Contesting a Will Guide’, which covers our 5 key tips to solving issues around contentious probate. The guide is completely free of charge for you to download. To get your copy, enter your name and email address below.
Your next steps
If something has gone wrong and you disagree with a Will, or how the Will has been executed, it is vital that you seek legal advice from a trusted solicitor. You can speak to our expert team by telephone on 01273 604 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will take the time to listen to you and understand what has happened. We will then book you in for an initial consultation – this can be over the telephone, by video call, or in person at our offices. We will discuss your concerns around the situation and the likelihood of you being successful in your claim, and provide you with estimate timelines and fees.