Contentious probate is a term that describes the disputes that can arise over a person’s estate after their death. These disputes can be emotionally taxing for families and can complicate an already difficult period. However, understanding the circumstances under which an estate can be contested can provide clarity and ease the process for everyone involved.

This article aims to shed light on contentious probate and the importance of legal guidance from a solicitor in navigating these disputes for the benefit of you and your loved ones.

Understanding Contentious Probate and the Role of a Solicitor

In the context of the UK, contentious probate refers to any legal conflict regarding the validity of a will or the distribution of an estate. Such conflicts may arise if an individual believes they have been unjustly treated in the will, or if there are suspicions that the will was created under undue influence or without adhering to legal requirements. These situations may necessitate a court’s intervention to determine the will’s validity.

A solicitor is invaluable in these scenarios, offering representation and advice to protect a client’s interests. Their expertise includes outlining the client’s legal options, which might involve challenging the will, negotiating settlements, or securing court orders in favour of their client.

Scenarios Leading to Contentious Probate with a Will

Contentious probate disputes can emerge for various reasons, including:

  • Disappointed expectations of an inheritance beneficiary.
  • Conflicts regarding the will’s executors, including disputes over their appointment or actions.
  • Perceived inequities in gifts given by the deceased during their lifetime, or unfulfilled promises of provisions in the will.
  • Disagreements over property ownership or asset valuation.
  • Contentious Probate without a Will

When someone in the UK dies without a valid will, it results in intestacy. The law then dictates the distribution of the deceased’s assets, which can still spark disputes among family members, especially when significant assets are involved or when the intestacy rules contradict the deceased’s wishes. Since cohabitants and step-children do not automatically inherit under intestacy rules, they may seek provision from the estate. These disputes fall under contentious probate, necessitating legal advice.

Seeking Help and Advice

If you’re facing a contentious probate issue, Arlingsworth Solicitors offers expert legal assistance. Our dedicated team can review your situation and recommend the most appropriate course of action. With a wealth of experience in Wills and Probate, our guidance ensures you’re well-supported throughout the process. For more information or to initiate a contentious probate case, please contact our team at 01273 696962, or visit our Estate Administration page to discover more about our services.