Disputed Wills, Trusts & Estates

The death of a loved one is never easy to cope with, but the grieving process can be made even more painful when there is a dispute over a Will. Disputes can occur because you feel that you have been inadequately provided for or that you have been unfairly left out of the Will. Perhaps you have concerns surrounding how the Will was signed or prepared or the circumstances in which a will was made.

At Ascot Lawyers we can help you with issues arising over the drafting of a Will, an inheritance you have received or expected to receive, obtaining probate or in dealing with a deceased’s property or assets.You may be able to challenge a Will on several grounds:-

   Capacity
Generally, a person has to be over the age of eighteen years and have the mental capacity to make a Will. With the unfortunate rise of Alzheimer’s/Dementia within the population, some people may lack mental capacity when they make a Will. A recent reported case in the news is that of Mrs Spalding, 98 years old, who left her estate to her window cleaner. Her nephew, Mr Bray challenged her Will as he stated he gave up work to look after his aunt and in return she had promised to leave him her estate. After a series of falls, Mrs Splading underwent a personality change and cut contact with her nephew along with removing him from her Will. A Judge decreed that Mrs Spalding did not have mental capacity at the time of the execution of her last Will and he decreed that her previous Will was to be upheld and the window cleaner would now have to repay all he had received from Mrs Spalding’s estate to the nephew.

   Undue Influence
These cases are very difficult to prove and successful outcomes are rare.

   Compliance
For a Will to be legally valid, it must be in writing and signed and witnessed by two independent people.

   Clarity
It is vital that at the time of a person making a Will they know and approve of the contents of their Will. The Will should not be made in suspicious circumstances such as where someone other than the deceased had been involved or instrumental in instructing a solicitor, arranging attendances by a solicitor etc.

   Fraud
You would have to show that the deceased was actually tricked into signing the Will against their wishes i.e. the fraudster may have deliberately made some false statement to the deceased or suppressed material facts. Maybe the Will had been signed by someone other than the deceased? You may also have concerns about how the executors appointed in a Will or trustees are carrying out their duties under a Will or Trust and Ascot Lawyers can also assist you in this scenario.

Ascot Lawyers offer a FREE NO OBLIGATION CASE ASSESSMENT. We will initially advise you on your prospects of success and then discuss with you the various options available for the funding of your claim. It is vital that legal advice is sought immediately as claims against the estate can have extremely short time limits such as six months. Our aim is to minimise the financial and emotional costs that are tied up in these kinds of disputes. We guarantee that we will leave no stone unturned to get the best results for our clients.

If you have any questions or would like to talk with us or arrange a free initial telephone consultation, please call us now on 01344 512370 or email: enquiries@ascotlawyers.co.uk.

Alternatively, complete our contact form and we'll get a relevant member of our team to contact you.