If you have concerns over what is happening to someone’s estate after their death or whether their will is valid, you may wish to take action. This includes where the estate administration is not being conducted properly or where you believe you should have received an inheritance to support you and you did not, or you received less than you feel you need.
At Thornton Jones, we understand how difficult it is to deal with a legal dispute after the death of a loved one, and we will do all we can to make the process as stress-free as possible. For inheritance disputes near Tadcaster or in the wider North Yorkshire area, please feel free to give us a call.
If you believe that your relative’s estate is not being properly administered or you have concerns that their will has not been correctly interpreted, we can advise you of your options and discuss the next steps to take. We can also represent you if you relied on the deceased financially, but you have not been left the reasonable provision to which you may be entitled.
Our North Yorkshire contentious probate solicitors are understanding and approachable, and their advice to you will be clear and practical. We can assist with a full range of issues, including:
- Challenging the validity of a Will
- Disputes over intestate estates (where there is no will)
- Inheritance Act claims (for ‘reasonable provision’ from an estate)
- Disputes over the interpretation of Wills
- Executor and estate administrator disputes
We are often able to resolve matters without the need for a court hearing, either by way of negotiation after putting forward a strong case or by way of alternative dispute resolution.
For friendly, experienced contentious probate advice near Tadcaster, please contact our Sherburn in Elmet office, which is just 6 miles (about a 10-minute drive) from Tadcaster.
For more information about our services, see our Contentious Probate page. Our contentious probate solicitors for clients in Tadcaster and North Yorkshire will be happy to hear from you.
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How our contentious probate solicitors can help clients in Tadcaster
Challenging the validity of a Will
If you have an interest in the contents of a Will, for example, you are a close relative of the deceased, or you were mentioned in a previous Will, and you are concerned that the document may be invalid for some reason, you may be able to legally challenge it.
Reasons why a will could be invalid include:
- It was not executed correctly
- The person making the will did not adequately understand it
- They did not have proper knowledge of the contents of the will, or they had not approved it
- They were unduly influenced in making the will
- The will was fraudulent or forged
- The will was revoked, for example, because a newer will was made or because of marriage
We can advise you whether you may be able to challenge the validity of a will and talk you through the necessary steps. We can also lodge a caveat at the Probate Registry on your behalf, which will prevent the issue of a Grant of Probate for six months, allowing the matter of validity to be dealt with before an executor is appointed to deal with the estate administration.
Disputes over intestate estates
Where someone does not leave a will, disputes often arise where family members believe that the deceased would have wanted to support them from the estate after death.
The estate of someone who died intestate or without making a will is distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which set out in priority order who is entitled to inherit. A cohabiting partner will not receive anything under these rules but may be entitled to make a claim against the estate.
If a dispute arises over who should benefit from the estate, we can advise you of the process to be followed and who is entitled to act as a personal representative as well as who is entitled to inherit.
Inheritance Act claims
Where someone has been left out of a will or has not been left enough to support them, they may be entitled to make a claim against an estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
The Act provides that someone who was financially dependent upon the deceased can bring a claim for support. This includes a spouse or civil partner, children and those who were treated as a child by the deceased, a former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried, someone who was living with the deceased for two years or more before their death and anyone else who was being supported financially by them.
There is a six-month time limit from the date of the Grant of Probate in which to lodge a claim, although this can be extended by permission of the court.
If you believe that you are entitled to receive provision from an estate, we can advise you of your rights and, where appropriate, bring a claim for support on your behalf.
Disputes over the interpretation of Wills
If a will has been poorly drafted or was written by the deceased, there is often a risk that it may be ambiguous and open to different interpretations. The will could also contain a mistake that was not previously spotted.
Unfortunately, this can often cause a disagreement between family members. Our contentious probate team have experience in resolving disputes arising from the way in which a will has been drafted, and we are often able to find a solution before the situation escalates.
We can discuss your options with you and work to resolve matters without the need for a protracted legal case.
Executor and estate administrator disputes
Estate administration can be lengthy and complex, and beneficiaries may have concerns about the way in which the process is being conducted. If a dispute has arisen, we can represent you to work to resolve matters in the most efficient way possible.
There are a large number of issues that could arise during an estate administration, including concerns over the actions of the personal representatives, delays in the winding up and difficulties caused by the lodging of a caveat. Our team have an in-depth understanding of the process and are generally able to find an acceptable solution to enable the administration to be completed.
If you are a beneficiary or an executor or administrator and you are involved in a disagreement over an estate administration, we will be happy to advise you on your options and suggest the best course of action.
Why choose Thornton Jones’ contentious probate solicitors near Tadcaster?
Our contentious probate solicitors in North Yorkshire have in-depth experience across a full range of probate disputes. Our expertise extends to complex and protracted contentious probate matters, meaning we can provide trusted and practical advice in even the most complicated cases.
We have independent accreditation from the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme in recognition of our skills and experience in the area of wills, probate and inheritance.
Our contentious probate team is led by Liz Fyfe, who is a qualified Trusts and Estates Practitioner with STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). Other team members include senior contentious probate solicitor Stacie Hurt, who has extensive experience in resolving difficult wills and probate disputes.
Contact our contentious probate lawyers near Tadcaster
For expert contentious probate advice in Tadcaster or the surrounding area, please contact our Sherburn in Elmet office.
We will be happy to advise you over the phone, via email or videoconferencing, or in person – whatever works best for you.