Contested Probate Litigation

Contentious probate litigation

When a loved one dies, their assets and other belongings enter a process known as probate. This is where their estate is divided among their chosen beneficiaries according to the instructions left in their Will. If no Will exists, the Courts will decide who should be in receipt of the deceased’s assets, by following the appropriate intestacy legislation.

In the vast majority of cases, this is a straightforward process. The deceased’s Will details precisely who will receive what from their estate and, bar some light paperwork to confirm the transfer of ownership, things tend to be sorted without any problem.

Occasionally, issues can arise in the form of contested wills and inheritance disputes, at which point the estate may fall into the realms of contested probate litigation.

What Is Contested Probate Litigation?

In a nutshell, contested probate litigation is a process whereby two or more parties who disagree about the contents of a Will, or the sharing of an estate under intestacy laws, attempt to correct the matter. It normally involves back-and-forth between the parties and their representatives, as each puts forward their particular case. Sometimes litigation can be resolved between the parties, while other times it needs to be decided upon by a judge.

What Leads to Contested Probate Litigation?

In theory, any dispute over the content or execution of a Will or estate can lead to contested probate. In practice, the most common reasons include:

• How the Will has been interpreted
• The value of the assets included in the Will
• Mismanagement of the estate by the executor
• Whether or not the Will is valid
• Disagreements between two or more beneficiaries.
• If the deceased died without a Will in place and someone wishes to make a claim against the estate

What Happens if Probate Is Contested?

Whenever there is a probate dispute, the disbursement of the deceased’s estate is put on hold until the matter can be resolved. How long this takes depends on the nature of the dispute and the willingness of all parties to reach a compromise.

How We Can Help You

Here at Paradigm Wills & Legal Services, we are specialists in Wills and estate planning. As well as being certified by Trading Standards, we are full members of the Institute of Professional Will-writers. With our decades of combined experience in the field, we know how to interpret a Will, whether we are contesting or defending it. If you have any concerns about a loved one’s estate and how it is being handled, we can offer expert advice on how best to proceed.

Contact us today on 0800 999 7750, to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our experts.

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