As a law firm specialising in contesting a will, a variety of frequently asked questions are often asked and perhaps the most common relates to time limits on contesting a will, particularly if a will can be contested after probate has been issued ?
Finding out if probate has been issued
When we speak with a prospective client, we will always ask to see a copy of the will and whether probate has been issued.
So if you are unsure whether probate has in fact been issued, there is a simple way of checking by looking at the government website that lists those cases in which probate has been issued. You can access the website by clicking here.
You can also apply for what is known as a Standing Search. This costs £10 and means that moment probate gets issued you will be sent a copy of the will and probate from the probate registry.
Time is of the essence
If you are unsure about contesting a will, time is of the essence. Firstly you want to prevent assets being distributed, secondly you would want to ensure assets are preserved all of which is much easier if probate has not been issued.
Tactically, if a caveat has been issued against an estate this prevents probate from being issued whilst in addition there are tactical reasons why contesting a will is much better before probate has been issued.
Important time limits
If you find out probate has been issued, instruct a solicitor straightaway. Unlike in many areas of law the time limits on contesting wills are very tight, particularly under the Inheritance Act 1975, in which the time limit is just 6 months from when probate is issued. The key time limits you need to be aware of are as follows :-
- Inheritance Act 1975 : Claims for financial maintenance : 6 months from the date of the grant of probate or grant of letters of administration
- Beneficiary Claim : 12 years from the date when the entitlement arose
- Fraud : No time limit
- Breach of Trust Claim arising under a Trust : 6 years from when the breach arose
If you are unsure about a time limit to contest a will – call us on 0330 404 2536 and speak with Tim Murden who specialises in contesting wills or e-mail email@example.com for a free enquiry.