The UK’s Trusted Probate Specialists
The Executor is refusing to disclose a copy of the will
A will does not become a public document until probate has been issued. If you are thinking of contesting a will, waiting until after probate has been issued can be too late if there is an Executor you do not trust. Requesting a copy of a will is an entirely reasonable request, and very often we find that if refused there maybe a reason why. If this is the case, it is often sensible to seek advice about applying for a a Caveat, this will stop the issue of a grant of probate. Very often the threat of applying for a Caveat is sufficient for a will to be disclosed.
Getting a Copy of the Will
Once the will is disclosed, it is crucial that expert advice from a contested probate solicitor is obtained, straightaway. The reason for this is that there are differing time limits depending upon the time of dispute – for example if a claim is being made under the Inheritance Act 1975, the time limit is just 6 months from the date of the issue of the grant of probate, whilst a claim by a beneficiary can be made within 12 years, a creditor 6 years whilst claims brought involving fraudulent allegations do not have a time limit.
Key Deadlines to contesting a will
The most important advice if contesting a will is to act quickly – you have one chance and often we find that the main issue or problem arising to many potential claims is that they are made too late, for example you have may have a reasonable claim to contest a will however if the estate has been distributed and there are no assets left , making a claim may ultimately be futile. Checking to see whether probate has been issued is also very important given the 6 month deadline to claims under the inheritance act. The government has an online search facility which can be accessed by clicking here – if probate has been issued you can obtain a copy of a will or probate straightaway.
Other Important Deadlines to contesting a will
- Rectification of a will when there has been a clerical error in the drafting of the will – 6 months from date of probate
- Fraud – no time limit
- Debt action – 6 years
- beneficiary making a claim against an estate – 12 years
TM solicitors have an expert team specialising in all aspects of will disputes, for a free initial assessment please contact Tim Murden on 01482 429985 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org