Contesting a Will : How Much does it cost?
It is very difficult to generalise on the cost of contesting the will, as much often depends upon the type of the dispute, the number of parties involved and the availability of evidence and quite often the availability of the parties to negotiate or compromise.
In all cases, the starting point above all else is to determine whether you actually have a case to contest a will. Typically, we charge a modest fixed fee to set the record straight in terms of the likelihood of a challenge being successful and what the funding options are.
The way in which we charge are as follows :-
No Win No Fee Damaged Based Agreement
A new form of agreement, which acts in the same way as a No Win No Fee agreement but with our costs being paid out of any damages recovered. Typically, the percentage can be anything between 20-30%.
No win No fee Agreement
This means that our costs – if successful – are paid by your opponent or out of the estate, only if you win your case. You pay nothing if you lose.
Deferred fee basis
This means that our costs are deferred until the end of the case.
In a contested probate case does the estate always have to pay the costs?
The general rule in law is that costs follow the event, which means that if you succeed with your case your costs are paid by the opponent or from the estate.
In all cases it is important to appreciate that costs are always subject to the discretion of the Court, which means that if the case is subject to Court proceedings particularly in cases involving family disputes, the Court will often want to consider very carefully the conduct of all the parties involved. For example:-
- Did the Deceased cause the dispute by acting unreasonably ? If so, this will be a factor used to determine the payment of costs from the estate.
- Has one of the parties acted unreasonably or unfairly causing the delay of the case, a Judge may regard such conduct as being unreasonable and as such order that they have caused the dispute and as such must bear the costs of the litigation
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