Families can be complicated. Contentious probate is essentially any dispute arising out of the administration of a deceased's estate. Contesting a Will can result from various situations, such as beneficiaries of the estate having different interpretations of a Will, the value of the assets or difficulties with executors.
It is always a difficult time when a loved one dies. Unfortunately because emotions are heightened, what could usually be sorted out amicably between family members can become more serious and lead to disagreements and resentment. Beneficiaries can feel like they have suffered a detriment under the terms of a Will or feel they have been unfairly excluded by a Will. Also there may be no Will by the intestacy rules.
In the first instance Spencers Solicitors will try to help you resolve these disputes without the need to involve the Courts but if this is not possible, we can help with making and defending contentious probate claims by a beneficiary or against a beneficiary. We can instruct experts to value assets and/or make applications to the Court to determine the value of the assets either whether they have been retained or taken by the beneficiaries and making necessary applications to obtain copies of testamentary documents.
Disputes can arise between executors and beneficiaries or between executors detailing the estate with regards to the manner in which executors are dealing with the distribution of an estate.
These disputes often arise due to a lack of understanding by executors or beneficiaries about the process of obtaining probate and administering an estate. As experienced probate solicitors, Spencers Solicitors can work with executors or beneficiaries to help resolve these issues informally without the need to involve the Court, saving both valuable time and cost.
If disputes cannot be resolved informally it will be necessary to involve the Courts and ask them to intervene and resolve the dispute. The Court has the power to revoke a grant that has been made in favour of one executor and issue a grant to another. If they see fit the Court can appoint an independent executor to help resolve disputes. The Court can also give directions on how an estate is to be administered. An executor can be ordered by a Court to provide a full inventory of assets and full details of how any of those assets have been distributed.