What is contentious probate?

In legal terms, contentious probate refers to any dispute which may arise during the process of administering an estate following a person’s death. This could involve a dispute over the interpretation of a Will, a disagreement between appointed executors or beneficiaries, or any instance where the value of the deceased’s estate, property, or assets is questioned. 

Disputes which fall under the term of contentious probate are wide-ranging in nature and can arise in several forms, including:

Instances where the validity of the Will is challenged

This may be because it is believed that the Will was not signed or witnessed correctly, or that the deceased lacked mental capacity at the point of signing to properly understand the contents of the document in order to authorise it. 

This type of dispute may also arise when there is a suspicion that the deceased person may have been coerced into signing the Will, or that it may have been forged. 

A Will’s validity may also be challenged when it is believed there is an alternative Will, drafted and signed at a later date than the original, in existence. 

Instances where the administration or distribution of an estate is disputed 

This may be because the executors in charge of organising the deceased’s estate refuse to do so, do it incorrectly, do not complete the task in an appropriate time frame, or seek to manipulate the way the estate is handled for their own benefit or financial gain. 

Instances where a promise made by the deceased has not been reflected in their Will 

This type of dispute will arise when a friend or family member has made a verbal agreement with the deceased before their death, which has not been recorded in writing or included in the Will, therefore facing complications when it comes to actualising the promises made. 

Are you currently involved in a dispute over the execution and/or contents of a loved one’s Will? 

Contentious probate can be challenging to deal with alone. By placing your trust in the DRN team, you can rest assured that all matters will be handled with utmost care, sympathy, and sensitivity. Whether you seek to challenge a Will, or will be contesting an intestate ruling, our team is here to provide expert legal advice and support every step of the way. 

Looking to draft or amend your Will? 

The only way to guarantee that your wishes are fulfilled, your loved ones protected, and your assets secured with those who matter most, is to write a Will. 

Don’t leave your loved ones in the dark or at the risk of facing a contentious probate dispute. The expert solicitors at DRN have several years of experience in handling Wills, Probate and Inheritance, and are dedicated to providing the very best standards of client service, including providing sound, reliable advice that you can trust. 

Contact us today to start the process of drafting or amending your Will.