Probate disputes in the UK refer to disagreements or challenges that arise during the process of distributing a deceased person’s estate. The probate process, also known as estate administration, is the legal process of determining the validity of a deceased person’s will and carrying out the instructions outlined in the will. This process typically involves identifying and valuing the deceased person’s assets, paying off any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
What are Common Causes of Probate Disputes?
Probate disputes can arise for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of probate disputes include:
Invalid or outdated will: The deceased person’s will may be deemed invalid if it was not properly executed or if it has been revoked or altered in some way. A will may also be considered outdated if it does not accurately reflect the deceased person’s current wishes or if it does not adequately provide for all of the deceased person’s beneficiaries.
Disagreements over the distribution of assets: Beneficiaries may disagree over how the deceased person’s assets should be distributed, either because they believe that the will does not accurately reflect the deceased person’s wishes or because they believe that they are entitled to a larger share of the estate.
Claims of undue influence: In some cases, beneficiaries may allege that the deceased person was unduly influenced by another person to include certain provisions in their will or to exclude certain beneficiaries. This may be the case if the deceased person was vulnerable, such as if they were suffering from a serious illness or were in poor mental health.
Claims of lack of capacity: For a will to be valid, the person who made the will must have had the mental capacity to do so. This means that they must have been of sound mind and able to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. If a beneficiary believes that the deceased person did not have the necessary mental capacity to make a valid will, they may challenge the will on these grounds.
How to Avoid Probate Disputes
Probate disputes can be emotionally and financially costly for all parties involved. To avoid probate disputes, it is important for individuals to keep their will up to date and to make sure that it accurately reflects their current wishes. It is also important for individuals to name an executor who is trustworthy and capable of carrying out the instructions outlined in the will.
What to Do if a Probate Dispute Arises
If a probate dispute does arise, the first step is to try to resolve the issue through mediation or negotiation. This can be an effective way of reaching a mutually acceptable resolution without the need for costly and time-consuming legal proceedings. If mediation or negotiation is not successful, the next step may be to seek legal advice and take the matter to court. In the UK, probate disputes are typically heard by the High Court or the County Court. The court will consider the evidence and make a ruling on the dispute.
How Can Van Eaton Solicitors Help
If you are involved in a probate dispute, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced solicitor will be able to advise you on the best course of action and will be able to represent you in court if necessary.
Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham Hill’s lawyers are well-placed to advise clients on probate, inheritance, and will disputes when they arise, such as when a will is disputed or someone files a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Our probate dispute solicitors in London can assist you in analysing your case and obtaining the outcomes you require as quickly as feasible.
If you are seeking advice relating to probate disputes, contact our probate dispute solicitors in London online or by phone at 0208 769 6739 or complete the online form. We will respond promptly to your inquiry.