Know About Contentious Probate Claims
Under English and Welsh law, contentious probate cases can cover a wide range of circumstances. Read on for a brief guide to the most common reasons for taking this sort of legal action, and what you should consider before making a claim.
When you’re making a claim, we highly recommend that you visit a probate attorney to guide you through the proper steps within Probate law. Many families don’t do the diligence of planning accordingly so they lose any income that they may have received from a family member that has passed away. To learn more about Probate law, please refer to the article placed below:
Claims Under the Inheritance Act
If you were expecting to receive something in the will of a family member who has recently died and didn’t receive what you were expecting, then you might be able to make an inheritance claim.
These rules apply in England and Wales only, as the legal situation in Scotland and Northern Ireland is different. Not all relatives are entitled to make a claim, but you may be eligible if you were a close relative such as a spouse, child, ex-spouse or long-term cohabiting partner of either gender.
It’s important to speak to a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law as they will be able to advise you if you are not sure whether you qualify. They will also be able to give advice on the best course of action given your personal circumstances and the size of an estate in dispute.
Was The Will Valid?
The other main reason for challenging a will is due to worries about whether it is valid or not. Grounds for challenging a will’s validity include legal technicalities, influence on the deceased, lack of knowledge, capacity or approval and devastavit [see below].
Technicalities – a will which has not been drawn up or witnessed properly is open to challenge. If the challenge is upheld, the will is disregarded and the estate is split as if it had never existed.
Influence – if it is suspected that the person making the will was forced, threatened and coerced by someone to create their will in a certain way, the will may also be invalid.
Lack of Knowledge, Approval, and Capacity – if the person making the will was not aware of what they were doing when it was signed, the will can be challenged. This category includes people with dementia, or with sight problems meaning they couldn’t read the documents.
Devastavit – this legal term means that the person whose job it was to administer the estate acted negligently. They are in these cases personally liable for any mistakes which are made.
If you’re experiencing the death of a loved one and don’t know where to start, consider hiring a probate attorney. You can contact an expert such as http://www.connecticutprobate.com/ for more information on estate planning and wrongful death.