You may have seen the recent case in the news concerning the daughter that successfully challenged her Mothers will and Won. (Illott-v- Mitson)
As a Firm specialising in contesting probate, we regularly act for children, partners or family relatives that have been disinherited under a will.
If you have been left out of a will or Cut out of an estate. what steps should you take ? here are the most commonly asked questions and our advice on what to do :-
1. Immediately seek legal advice.
The time limits for contesting a will, vary depending upon the type of dispute however in some cases the time limits are just Six Months from the date of the grant of probate. It is therefore critical that you immediately seek help. Ignorance of the law or the fact that you were not told of the date or probate is not a sufficient excuse.
2. Try and get a copy of the will
If you want to contest a will it is import to request a copy of the will, from the Executor or solicitor that drafted the will. If you are refused a copy of the will, see below on what can be done.
3. Stopping probate : issuing a caveat
Strictly speaking an executor doesn’t have to provide a copy of a will, however all protocols make clear that in resolving a dispute an executor should disclose a will upon request given that a will becomes public knowledge once probate has been issued.
4. Keep a detailed note of all evidence
Often evidence of a deceased person is critical. Thus, there maybe photographs, e-mails or letters which involve the Deceased. As a result of this, we often find such evidence as crucial as showing the claimants relationship with the deceased or their intention. Given this, please ensure you keep all such records.
5. Do I have grounds to contest a will ?
Contesting a will, is a highly specialised area of law – don’t presume anything. As a result of this, don’t try and claim without legal advice it is simply too complicated, since there are very detailed rules relating to how such claims are made, the way evidence is presented and the time limits that apply. As a general guide only we find that the key areas of dispute are :-
- when there is a problem with the will eg. not signed or witnessed correctly
- undue influence
- fraud wills
- mental capacity of the person making the will
- claims under the Inheritance ( Family and Dependents Act ) 1974 for financial support
- broken promises
If you have been disinherited, don’t worry we can help – call Tim Murden for a free case assessment on 0845 568 4000 0r e-mail Tim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org