How to Challenge Probate – UK Contested Probate Solicitors

 If you want to find out how to challenge probate just contact a firm of UK contested probate solicitors. There are limited opportunities for a solicitor to challenge probate or to contest a will or to object to the appointment of a particular executor. 

 The courts are reluctant to intervene except in the most obvious cases of fraud or where a potential beneficiary has suffered severe injustice. The main issues relate to invalid wills due to defective drafting or defective execution and signature, failure to make adequate provision for those who may be reasonable described as being financially dependent on the deceased, cases where advantage has been taken of the elderly or those suffering from dementia or who are mentally incapacitated in some other way by way of undue influence or in the case of an incompetent, reckless, vindictive or dishonest executor who seeks to repudiate, delay or prevent payment to other beneficiaries.

Common Legal Action

The most common matters that give rise to contested probate solicitors action to challenge probate are outlined below however this list not exhaustive and there are many other scenarios whereby a legal case may be builtby UK contested probate solicitors against a wrongdoer or to establish a potential beneficiaries right to claim either by way of a dependency claim or in order to invalidate the disputed will thereby ensuring that a previous valid will takes precedence:-

    Dependency Claim – A dependent of the deceased who has not been adequately provided for in a valid will is entitled to challenge probate and make a claim for either periodical payments or a lump sum from the estate in lieu of the amount of support that was provided during the lifetime of the deceased. A dependent can be any person who was previously supported by the deceased and there need not be any legal relationship existing between the two either by marriage or blood.

    Invalid Execution – For a proposed will to be valid the law sets out exactly how the document must be signed and witnessed. Failure to ensure that the testator and the witnesses are all present together at the same time when the will is allegedly executed will invalidate the purported will. Improper execution often gives rise to a probate challenge and is a major reason for failure of wills which would mean that a previous will takes precedence or where there is no earlier will the intestacy rules will apply which in either case may be completely contrary to the intentions of the deceased.

    Undue Influence – Anyone who executes a will must do so in the full knowledge of its meaning and of their own free will. Undue influence will be presumed and will invalidate any will where the testator was mentally incapable art the time of making the will or was threatened with violence or blackmail. Undue influence is a particular concern in regard to the elderly who may be suffering from mental infirmity or from senile dementia. Undue influence is not just restricted to dishonest friends and neighbours but usually arises when one sibling tries to exclude the others from benefiting from the will.

    Inadequate Executor – There are occasions where a wholly unsuitable person is appointed as executor or where an executor carries out their duties with negligence or incompetence in which case it may be possible to make an application to the court to challenge probate in order to have that person removed as an executor, to be replaced by another person. The courts are extremely reluctant to interfere with the wishes of a testator expressed in a will however with the right evidence and an unsuitable executor, a successful application can often be made to the court.

Contested Probate Solicitors

If you want to find out how to challenge probate just contact a firm of UK contested probate solicitors who are usually quite prepared to dispute a will using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free advice on how to challenge probate without further obligation just contact ACTAPS - The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.  A contested probate solicitor will take a statement over the phone and will give advice on the likely prospects of a successful application.
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