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Contentious probate is an umbrella term that covers disputes relating to the administration of a deceased person’s estate. This could be a dispute as to whether the last Will of the deceased person is valid or where there is dispute over the contents of the Will and to who the assets in the estate have been left and in what shares.
For a Will to be valid in basic terms, it must comply with the Wills Act 1837. This says that a Will must be in writing and signed by the deceased in the presence of two witnesses, who also signed the Will in the presence of the deceased.
Wills can be held invalid if the deceased person did not have sufficient mental capacity to make their last Will or Codicil, if they were forced or coerced into making and signing a new Will or if they did not understand or approve the contents of their Will. Our specialist solicitors in the litigation and disputes team can advise you as to the prospects of success of making such a claim or indeed the prospects of successfully defending such a claim. We can assist you from the commencement of the claim and the issue of a letter before action through to a final hearing if the matter proceeds. We do encourage alternative dispute resolution including mediation in order to save costs.
Should you wish to discuss your situation further, please contact Caroline Batko at email@example.com