Contentious probate is where a party disputes the validity of a will. Probate refers to how this is distributed and it is important to look at how this process works and whether there are any issues that need to be addressed.
Why someone might dispute probate
There are numerous reasons why someone might distribute probate. They may argue that the person that was supposed to be handling the probate has not done so properly. It may also be argued that you are not receiving the amount or share that you have been promised.
It is also possible there may be a dispute regarding the validity of the will. Someone may feel that a person may have been coerced into changing it later in life.
For a legal representative, contending probate can be a difficult case to deal with. Aside from the legal issues involved, it can also be a very emotional situation so it is something that has to be handled as sensitively as possible.
For example, there may be a feeling that one sibling was favoured over another and this can lead to heightened emotions. For the legal representative, it is important to guide people and help them look at the facts away from the more emotional aspect of the probate case.
This means looking at how everything is being distributed, or if the will complies with the law.
A will is valid if it was made by someone over the age of 18 (and of sound mind) in writing, was produced voluntarily and created with any outside influence. This is where disputes can often occur- if someone remarries later in life, there can often be the concern that the person involved may be influenced to change their will. This may not necessarily be the case but this can often be a point of contention that would have to be looked at.
A will also needs to be signed in the presence of two witnesses (who sign it as well). Again, this is something that may be something that someone could argue- where the witnesses involved in pressuring someone into changing their will?
When to make a claim
There is a limit on when you can make a claim- if you wish to dispute probate then you must do so within six months of when the probate was granted. If the deceased did not leave a will, then the claim is limited to six months after letters of administration were issued.
We can help
If you are looking to dispute contentious probate, we can help. It can be a difficult and emotional situation. As well as going through the legal ramifications we want to be there to support you through the process.
We have always been dedicated to both providing our experienced legal specialists with the resources they need, as well as the customer service that our clients deserve. For more information or to discuss your case in more detail please contact us today.