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Contesting a will

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It is possible to challenge the validity of a Will in certain circumstances. The litigation team at Grant Saw has a successful track record of dealing with contentious probate matters. Our solicitors have successfully challenged the validity of Wills, as well as successfully defended claims challenging the Will on behalf of the deceased’s estate. At Grant Saw you can be assured that your case will be handled with sensitivity. Michael Clary (litigation partner) is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

Why would someone need this service?

A Will, when properly prepared, represents the true wishes of the testator (the person who has made the Will) as to how he wishes his assets to be distributed on his death. It is therefore important that a Will is created according to certain formalities. A Will should only be prepared at a time when the testator had the requisite mental capacity to make his own free and independent determination as to how he wishes his assets to be dealt with upon his death.

A Will is occasionally challenged when, for example, it is alleged that it has been improperly executed. This can occur if the witnesses named in the Will did not actually witness the testator signing the Will. A Will can also be challenged if the testator signed the Will at a time where he did not have the requisite mental capacity (for instance due to illness) to provide his instructions for the drafting of his Will.

Other possible challenges to the Will can arise where it is maintained that the testator was forced under duress to sign a Will which did not represent his true intentions or where such undue influence was placed on the testator that he felt that he had to sign a Will that did not represent his true intentions.

If a Will is to be challenged, it is important that prompt legal advice is obtained. If Solicitors are instructed in good time, a document known as a Caveat, can be issued which will prevent a Grant of Probate from being obtained. A Grant of Probate is necessary in order to allow the Executors to distribute the deceased’s estate.

If an executor is informed of a claim regarding the validity of the deceased’s Will and that claim is disputed by the estate, then prompt legal advice should be sought by the Executors of the estate.

There are other circumstances in which you may dispute a will. See here for more information.

How long is the legal process when contesting a Will?

If the parties are agreeable to considering a negotiated settlement, without the need to issue court proceedings, then it is possible that the dispute could be settled within a number of weeks.

If it is not possible to resolve matters amicably, one of the parties involved in the dispute will need to issue court proceedings. On average, it takes between 12 months to 18 months for a claim to reach trial. In the vast majority of cases claims do settle prior to trial by settlement terms being agreed between the parties.

Is it expensive?

The costs incurred will largely depend upon the complexity of the dispute. We will provide you with an estimate of costs at the commencement of any new instructions.

Under certain circumstances we may be able to offer a “no win, no fee” arrangement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.

What should people do before calling?

It would be helpful to have to hand a copy of the Will when you first contact us. Furthermore, if you are able to provide us with the approximate size of the estate, this too would be of assistance.

To make a free enquiry, please call now on 020 8858 6971 to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone discussion or email us today. 

Meet the Contesting a will team
Ray Crudgington
Managing Partner
greenwich
02083054224
ray.crudgington@grantsaw.co.uk
Maria Lati
Partner
Head of Residential Property
blackheath
02083054229
maria.lati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mike Clary
Partner
Head of Family
greenwich
02083054237
mike.clary@grantsaw.co.uk
Kalpa Prajapati
Partner
Head of Private Client
blackheath
02083053536
kalpa.prajapati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mario Savvides
Partner
Head of Commercial Property
greenwich
02083053531
mario.savvides@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah-Kate Jackson
Partner
Head of Litigation
greenwich
02083054236
sarah-kate.jackson@grantsaw.co.uk
Adina-Leigh Collins
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053556
adina-leigh.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Aimal Gram
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053524
aimal.gram@grantsaw.co.uk
Aisha Mohammed
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054228
aisha.mohammed@grantsaw.co.uk
Aishat Balogun
Aishat Balogun
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054214
aishat.balogun@grantsaw.co.uk
An Le Tran
Commercial Property
Professional Support Solicitor
greenwich
02083054226
anle.tran@grantsaw.co.uk
Angus Young
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054225
angus.young@grantsaw.co.uk
Atifha Aftab
Atifha Aftab
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054238
atifha.aftab@grantsaw.co.uk
Bimal Kotecha
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053523
bimal.kotecha@grantsaw.co.uk
Charlotte Mandy
Charlotte Warren
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054231
charlotte.warren@grantsaw.co.uk
Claire Mac Mahon
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053537
claire.macmahon@grantsaw.co.uk
Deborah Taite
Residential Property
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053542
deborah.taite@grantsaw.co.uk
Emily Pearce
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053526
emily.pearce@grantsaw.co.uk
Georgia Beales
Litigation
Paralegal
greenwich
02083054206
georgia.beales@grantsaw.co.uk
James McKimm
James McKimm
Corporate and Commercial
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054217
james.mckimm@grantsaw.co.uk
Jeremy Brooks
Jeremy Brooks
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053534
jeremy.brooks@grantsaw.co.uk
Joanna Godden
Notary Public
Notary
greenwich
02083083535
joanna.godden@grantsaw.co.uk
Kim Whitaker
Kim Whitaker
Corporate and Commercial
Head of Corporate and Commercial
greenwich
02083053539
kim.whitaker@grantsaw.co.uk
Laura Danquah
Compliance Manager
greenwich
02083054222
laura.danquah@grantsaw.co.uk
Lauren Smith
Employment and Family
Paralegal
greenwich
02083053543
lauren.smith@grantsaw.co.uk
Mandeep Clair
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054235
mandeep.clair@grantsaw.co.uk
Michael Pope
Employment
Consultant Solicitor
greenwich
02083053540
michael.pope@grantsaw.co.uk
Michelle Pinnington
Michelle Pinnington
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054216
michelle.pinnington@grantsaw.co.uk
Noella Gooden
Employment
Solicitor (Australian qualified)
greenwich
02083053543
noella.gooden@grantsaw.co.uk
Raj Waghela
Raj Waghela
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053529
raj.waghela@grantsaw.co.uk
Randeep Thethy
Randeep Thethy
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054209
randeep.thethy@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah Conner
Sarah Conner
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054234
sarah.conner@grantsaw.co.uk
Simran Lalli
Simran Lalli
Employment
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054208
simran.lalli@grantsaw.co.uk
Susan Collins
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054200
susan.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Tatiana Zenina
Tatiana Zenina
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054239
tatiana.zenina@grantsaw.co.uk
Trisha Djemal
Trisha Djemal
Residential Property
Consultant Solicitor
blackheath
02083053546
trisha.djemal@grantsaw.co.uk
Tyrone Grant
Residential Property
Head of Leasehold Enfranchisement
blackheath
02083053522
tyrone.grant@grantsaw.co.uk
Denise
Accounts Staff
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Jayne Lye
Support Staff
Office Manager
greenwich
02083054204
jayne.lye@grantsaw.co.uk
Jamie
Support Staff
Head of IT
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Kasia
Accounts Staff
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Michael Tobin
Michael Tobin
Support Staff
Marketing and Business Development Manager
greenwich
02083053550
michael.tobin@grantsaw.co.uk
Sue Holness
Support Staff
Customer Services
greenwich
02083054221
sue.holness@grantsaw.co.uk