Inheritance tax planning is a crucial aspect of financial management, yet it is often shrouded in misconceptions and myths. As the New Year begins, it’s an opportune time to debunk these common misunderstandings and shed light on the realities of effective inheritance tax planning. In this article, we’ll address and dispel some of the prevalent
What is contentious probate?
What is contentious probate, and why do I need a solicitor?
Contentious probate in the UK refers to a legal dispute that arises when the validity of a will or the distribution of an estate is called into question. For example, this can happen when a family member or other interested party feels that they have not been fairly treated in the will, or they suspect that the will was made under duress or without proper legal formalities – both reasons that can invalidate the contents.
In such cases, a solicitor can play a crucial role in representing their client’s interests and helping to resolve the dispute. This may involve advising on the legal options available to the client, such as contesting the will, negotiating a settlement with other beneficiaries, or seeking a court order to protect their client’s interests.
Contentious probate disputes
Contentious probate disputes can happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- ‘Further provisions’ – this is common among spouses and children who feel they should have received more from the deceased’s will, especially if they were financially dependent on them under legislation.
- Issues with executors of the will, such as a disagreement regarding the appointment or actions of one.
- Lifetime gifts and promises.
- Mistakes and disagreements, such as a dispute over the correct ownership of property or the value of an asset.
Contentious probate when there is no will
In the UK, when someone dies without leaving a valid will, it is known as intestacy. In such cases, the law sets out who should inherit the deceased person’s assets. However, this can still lead to disputes between family members or others close to the deceased, especially if significant assets are involved or questions about the deceased’s wishes. These disputes are still considered to be contentious probate, and you should always contact a solicitor if you feel the will or the estate is not being correctly handled.