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Contentious Probate

Contentious Probate Solicitors

Contentious probate involves a dispute over the administration of someone’s estate after their death. The administration process can be complicated, and disagreements may arise over who is to inherit an estate, how the administration is being conducted and errors that may have been made.

Emotions are often running high after someone dies, and if not handled quickly and carefully, a dispute can escalate. Speaking to an expert contentious probate solicitor as soon as possible can help to resolve matters before positions become entrenched.

At F Barnes, our contentious probate lawyers have extensive experience in stepping in to deal with disagreements. We always work to find a solution without delay, avoiding the need for court or protracted legal arguments wherever possible.

We offer a 30-minute free initial consultation to give you the opportunity to speak to us about your situation and discuss how we can help, as well as the likely costs involved.

Our contentious probate services in Romford, Essex, include:

  • Wills disputes
  • Inheritance Act claims
  • Lifetime transaction and lifetime gift disputes
  • Probate and estate administration disputes

What our contentious probate solicitors in Romford, Essex, can offer you:

We will go through the matter in detail and provide you with honest advice, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your case so that you can make informed decisions. We will advise you on your options and work to reach a negotiated settlement with the other party where appropriate.

We always focus on the outcome that you want to achieve, and should this involve taking the matter to court, you can be assured of robust representation.

Our contentious probate dispute solicitors in Romford, Essex, have a wealth of experience across a full range of contentious probate claims.

Director and Head of Wills and Probate, Sangeet Tatem, works in all areas of probate and estate administration disputes, including Wills disputes and Inheritance Act claims.

Our other contentious Wills and probate experts include Niroshan David.

Contact our contentious probate solicitors in Essex

You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will call you back.

We always try to return all enquiries the same or the next working day, and we will ensure that you speak to a member of our contentious probate team without delay.

Our contentious probate services

Wills disputes

A dispute can arise over a Will in a range of circumstances, such as where the validity of the Will is in question, whether the deceased was subjected to undue influence to sign a Will, whether they understood the contents and implications of the Will and whether they had mental capacity to make a Will.

We can represent you whether you are bringing or defending a claim.

Inheritance Act claims

If an individual has not inherited anything after death, but they relied on the deceased for financial support, then they may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

We can advise you of the likelihood of a claim succeeding and the amount that such a claim might achieve if the case were to go to court.

Lifetime transaction and lifetime gift disputes

Where the deceased made transfers or gifts of assets during their lifetime, it may be possible to challenge this if the donor did not understand the effect of making the gift, they did not know the gift was being made or if they were coerced into it.

If someone made a substantial gift on behalf of the deceased while acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney and the consent of the Court of Protection was not obtained, this could also be challenged.

Probate and estate administration disputes

Dealing with the administration of an estate is complex and time-consuming. It may be the case that an executor or administrator does not manage the process properly, or their actions are not in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

We represent clients, executors and administrators in probate and estate administration disputes, working to resolve matters quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of legal intervention.

Where a claim cannot be settled, our probate dispute solicitors will put together a strong case for court on your behalf.

Frequently asked questions about prenuptial agreements

What is contentious probate?

Contentious probate is a dispute that arises after death and in respect of the deceased’s estate. It could be a disagreement over the way the estate is being administered, a dispute over the Will or a claim for financial support from the deceased’s money.

What does a contentious probate solicitor do?

A contentious probate solicitor will advise you in respect of the dispute, including discussing the strength of your case and the options open to you. They will put your case to the other party involved and, where possible try, and negotiate a resolution.

They can also support you through the mediation process, where there is a chance that this could help resolve the dispute without the need to involve the court.      

Who pays for contentious probate?

Where a case is settled out of court, the issues of costs will generally be agreed upon between the parties. The executors or administrators have a duty to protect the estate and to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. They will therefore be required to take action to defend the estate where a claim or dispute arises.

If the matter goes to court, the judge will generally address the issue of costs when making their judgement. While the party who succeeds will generally have their costs paid by the other side, this is not always the case.

It should not be assumed that legal costs will be paid out of the estate. While this may sometimes happen, it is not always the case.

If a dispute has arisen because of errors made by the executors, then they may face personal liability, including liability for legal costs of both sides.

Which court deals with contentious probate?

A contentious probate case will generally start in the Chancery Division of the High Court.

How is contentious probate resolved?

Contentious probate is often resolved by agreement between the parties. A full-blown court case can be lengthy and expensive, and it is generally preferable to try and reach an agreement without involving the court.

An experienced contentious probate solicitor will be able to advise you of the likelihood of your case succeeding and discuss the best approach with you.

Does probate have to go to court?

Contentious probate matters do not have to be heard by a court if the issue can be dealt with by negotiation and agreement. Contentious probate lawyers will usually try wherever possible to avoid a court case.

Our contentious probate solicitors’ fees

We offer a free initial 30-minute consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and so that you can ask us any preliminary questions you may have.

We can also discuss the issue of costs and the flexible funding options available.

Contact our contentious probate solicitors in Romford, Essex

For expert help with contentious probate in Romford, Essex, please feel free to give us a ring. You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any time by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will get in touch.

For more information in respect of the contentious Wills and probate services we offer, see our litigation and dispute resolution page.