Will disputes solicitors

Explore how we can help you with any legal requirements connected to a private wealth dispute.

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Experiencing the loss of someone close to you is an immensely challenging experience.

The emotional toll can be exacerbated if there are also conflicts over the deceased’s will or estate. At Moore Barlow, our dedicated team specialises in resolving disputes concerning wills, trusts, and estates, and we are highly recommended by many of our previous clients.

We recognise the strain you may be under, particularly if the will’s provisions are not as anticipated or if there are disputes between beneficiaries and those responsible for estate administration or asset management.

What is a will dispute?

A will dispute refers to a legal conflict that arises when there is disagreement or contention over the validity, interpretation, or execution of a person’s will. It typically involves family members, beneficiaries, or other interested parties seeking to challenge or contest the provisions of the will.

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Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor

Partner | Private wealth disputes

01483 464274

What are the grounds for dispute a will?

Grounds for disputing a will can vary depending on the specific circumstances. However, some common grounds for disputing a will may include:

  1. Lack of testamentary capacity: If the testator (the person making the will) was not of sound mind or did not understand the nature and consequences of their actions when making the will, it may be challenged on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity.
  2. Undue influence: If it can be proven that the testator was coerced, manipulated, or unduly influenced by another person when making the will, it may be contested on the basis of undue influence.
  3. Fraud or forgery: If there is evidence to suggest that the will was fraudulently created or forged, it can be challenged on these grounds.
  4. Improper execution: Wills must generally be executed in accordance with specific legal requirements, set out in s.9 of the Wills Act 1837, such as being signed by the testator and witnessed by two or more individuals in the presence of the testator. If the will was not properly executed, it may be disputed.
  5. Mistake or ambiguity: If there are mistakes or ambiguities in the will that affect the testator’s intentions, it may potentially be contested.

How to dispute a will

Disputing a will can be a complex and sensitive legal matter. If you believe that a will is invalid or that you have been unfairly treated in a will, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced will dispute solicitor. They can guide you through the process and help protect your rights. Here are some general steps to consider when disputing a will:

  1. Consult with a wills dispute lawyer: Find a solicitor who specialises in wills and estates law such as Moore Barlow LLP. They will assess your case, review the will, and advise you on the options for action.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect any relevant documents, such as previous wills, medical records, financial statements, or any other evidence that supports your claim. This evidence will help build your case.
  3. Understand the grounds for disputing a will: There are several grounds on which a will can be disputed, including lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, forgery, or improper execution. Your lawyer will help determine the most suitable ground for your case.
  4. Mediation or negotiation: In some cases, it may be possible to resolve the dispute through mediation or negotiation. This can help avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings. Your lawyer can represent you during these discussions.
  5. Issue a claim: If mediation or negotiation is unsuccessful, your lawyer will help you issue a claim in the appropriate court.
  6. Court proceedings: The court will review the evidence and arguments presented by both sides. It may be necessary to provide witness testimony or expert opinions to support your case. Your lawyer will represent you throughout the court proceedings.
  7. Settlement or court: Depending on the circumstances, the dispute may be resolved through a settlement or proceed to court if it cannot be agreed on otherwise. Your lawyer will advocate for your interests and make all the necessary preparations for the court hearing.
  8. Appeal: If you are dissatisfied with the court’s decision, you may have the option to appeal. Your lawyer will advise you on the feasibility and potential success of an appeal.

Remember, every case is unique, and the process may vary, depending on your case and individual circumstances. It is crucial to consult with qualified wills dispute lawyers who can provide personalised advice based on your specific circumstances.

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Why choose our will dispute solicitors?

Here at Moore Barlow LLP, our will dispute solicitors have extensive experience in handling complex and sensitive disputes, providing tailored advice and practical solutions to protect your interests. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of will disputes, we offer a collaborative and strategic approach to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Trust us to navigate the legal complexities and safeguard your rights.

How can our will dispute solicitors help?

Our will dispute solicitors are experts in resolving disputes related to contested wills, inheritance claims, and estate disputes. We provide personalised advice and representation to individuals and families in complex and high-value cases. Our team adopts a strategic and proactive approach to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. We understand the sensitivity and emotional impact of these disputes and strive to provide a supportive and empathetic service throughout the process.

We have offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking and offer specialist will disputes legal services to clients nationwide.

We are here to help

Discover how our expert private wealth dispute lawyers can help you.

Contact our private wealth disputes team

Wills disputes – FAQs

Do I need a solicitor to dispute a will?

While it is not mandatory to hire a solicitor to dispute a will, it is highly recommended. A solicitor can provide expert advice, navigate complex legal processes, and represent your interests effectively to increase your chances of a successful outcome in the dispute.

Disputing a will can be expensive, as it often involves legal fees, court costs, and potentially instructing Counsel and expert witnesses. The overall cost will depend on the complexity of the case and the amount of time it takes to resolve the dispute.

Any interested party, such as beneficiaries or creditors, can dispute a will if they have valid legal grounds to do so. This may include claims of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, or improper execution of the will.

The time limit to dispute a will depends on the specific nature of the will dispute. In some cases, the time limit to bring a dispute will be within six months of probate being granted. In other situations, there may be a longer deadline. It is important to consult with a specialist solicitor to understand the specific time frame and any deadlines applicable to your situation.

If a will is disputed, it means that one or more individuals are challenging the validity or terms of the will. This can happen for various reasons, such as allegations of undue influence, lack of capacity, fraud, or improper execution of the will.

When a will is disputed, if it cannot be resolved beforehand then the matter typically goes to court, where a judge will review the evidence and make a decision. The court will consider factors such as the testator’s mental capacity at the time of making the will, the evidence of any coercion or undue influence, and whether the will meets the legal requirements for execution.

During the dispute, interested parties, such as beneficiaries, may present evidence and arguments to support their claims. This can involve gathering witness statements, medical records, financial documents, and other relevant evidence.

If the court determines that the will is invalid or that certain provisions should be changed, it may declare the will partially or entirely invalid, or it may order variations to the terms of the will. In some cases, the court may also appoint an administrator to distribute the estate according to intestacy laws if no valid will exists.

Disputing a will can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. It is advisable to seek legal counsel from an experienced will dispute solicitor who can guide you through the legal proceedings and protect your interests.

Disputing a will can be a complex and challenging process. It is important to consult with an experienced solicitor who specialises in estate law to guide you through the legal proceedings. The ease of disputing a will depends on several factors, including the grounds for the dispute and the evidence available.

It is crucial to gather strong evidence and build a compelling case to increase the chances of a successful dispute. A will disputes lawyer can help assess the strength of your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.

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