Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts & Probate > Contesting a Will or Trust
Our Private client team understand that losing a loved one is incredibly difficult. This is made even more so when there are disputes within the family. Our team of professionals have vast experience and expertise dealing with the conflicts which may arise when going through probate.
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We offer a range of services including (but not limited to):
- Will validity challenges,
- claims against an estate,
- 1975 Act challenges for financial provisions,
- co-ownership disputes,
- Executor Disputes,
- Contested Court of Protection applications,
- Statutory Wills,
- breach of trust claims,
- Lifetime gift challenges.
Inheritance and Trust Disputes
Our specialist team will guide you through your claim professionally, sympathetically and cost-effectively, in a way tailored to your unique needs.
We know that losing a loved one is devastating. This is only made worse when you believe that their last wishes are not being followed or they do not appear to do right by you.
Sadly, inheritance disputes are becoming more and more common. At Taylor Rose MW, we understand the very real difficulties faced by disappointed friends and family members, and we can provide specialist advice on your options.
Challenging the validity of a Will
There are a number of reasons why a Will might not be valid, including:
- It was not executed correctly.
- The testator did not have the mental capacity.
- The testator did not know what they were signing (‘lack of knowledge and approval’).
- Someone coerced the testator into making the Will (‘undue influence’).
In some cases, the validity of the Will can be questioned if someone believes it to be unfair or if they have been excluded altogether.
We also act for executors who believe that the last Will is valid and want to defend any challenges to it. We successfully act for both Claimants and Defendants in these types of cases and can even provide guidance on mediation to resolve matters.
If the will is found to be invalid and the fault lies with the Will drafters, you may also be able to claim against them. We work closely with our in-house Professional Negligence team. If appropriate to your case, we would be happy to put them in touch with you.
Inheritance Act claims
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain groups of people to claim that the estate does not leave them reasonable financial provision. You are entitled to bring a claim if you are:
- The deceased’s spouse/civil partner.
- The deceased’s former spouse/civil partner and you have not subsequently remarried or formed a new civil partnership.
- A cohabitee for 2 years or more up to the date of death
- A child of the deceased.
- Anyone treated as a child of the deceased (e.g. a stepchild).
- Anyone being financially maintained by the deceased.
Normally you must bring an Inheritance Act claim within 6 months of the Grant of Probate, although this can be extended. It is a tight time limit, and we can advise you how best to deal with it.
The court would take a number of factors into account in deciding whether to make an award. Things such as financial needs, any disabilities, your relationship with the deceased and any obligations they owed to you would be considered.
Our team of experts will be able to advise you on the merits of your case and whether this type of claim would be the right option for you.
If you would like further guidance on any of the above, or wish to instruct a Solicitor, please get in touch. Our private client can be reached by telephone on 020 3540 4444 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WE CAN GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF MAKING A CLAIM, EXPLAINING YOUR OPTIONS AND DEALING WITH THE ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ESTATE ON YOUR BEHALF
You may be an executor in dispute with your fellow executors about how to administer the estate. Or you may be a beneficiary who is concerned that the executors are not administering the estate properly.
We frequently act for both executors and beneficiaries when disputes arise which prevent the completion of the administration of the estate.
We have a wealth of experience in:
- advising in relation to executors’ duties
- resolving disputes between co-executors
- resolving disputes between executors and beneficiaries
- pursuing claims to remove executors who have acted in breach of their duties and replacing them with executors who comply with their duties to complete the administration of the estate
Disputes over who owns what proportion of a property, or whether a property should be sold, can arise for a multitude of reasons. A couple may have bought a property together before splitting up, and an argument then ensues over whether the property should be sold.
Alternatively, someone might not be on the title at the Land Registry, but they might have contributed towards the purchase price or the mortgage.
Disputes like these are covered by the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (or TLATA for short). The idea is to put right any injustice that might come about from a person’s contribution to the property not being reflected on the title. The Court looks at what was the common intention of the parties at the time of the purchase or at the point of contribution. The Court can also decide what should be done with a property in view of why it was purchased.
You may have been assured that you would inherit a property and have then relied on that assurance. It could be that you turned down other life opportunities because you believed you would inherit it later. However, in the end the inheritance was left to someone else instead. This is what is meant by Proprietary Estoppel.
Our specialist team are well-placed to advise on this tricky area of law. They can guide you on what you might expect to be awarded by a court.
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YOUR CONTESTING LAW | WILLS & TRUSTS | TAYLOR ROSE MW EXPERTS
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