What is Contentious Probate ?


Contentious Probate refers typically to disputes over the estate of a deceased family member. These disputes can arise where someone feels they have not been adequately provided for in a will or there are concerns as to the validity of the will or disagreements as to how the estate is being dealt with.

A growing older population and the emergence of ever-complicated family structures are some of the reasons for the increase in Contentious Probate cases.

On what grounds can you bring a claim?

The following are some examples of the basis on which a claim can be brought:

  • There was an error in the drafting of the will
  • Reasonable provision (if any at all) has not been made for an individual in the will
  • The deceased’s will was not executed properly
  • The deceased was under undue influence when the will was made
  • The will is not in line with the deceased’s wishes
  • The deceased did not have capacity to make a will

Who can bring a claim?

Those who can bring a claim against the estate include the following:

  • Spouse/civil partner of the deceased
  • Former spouse/civil partner of the deceased (in some cases)
  • Children of the deceased or anyone treated by the deceased as a child
  • Anyone maintained and/or supported by the deceased prior to his/her death

Key points to note

  • There are time limits for bringing claims against the estate so you may need to act fast!
  • If not dealt with at the earliest possible stage, contentious probate matters can become costly and could diminish the value of the estate
  • Beneficiaries of an estate can also bring a claim in relation to the administration of the estate e.g if an executor is not carrying out their duties effectively.

Contact our expert legal advice on inheritance claims and general Contentious Probate matters at affordable rates. Please call us on 02034173859 for more information.


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