Who Pays the Legal Costs when Contesting a Will?
In England and Wales, a Will dispute or contesting a Will is known as Contentious Probate.
During a Will dispute, each person or party is responsible for paying their own costs. At the beginning of the Contentious Probate case, both the Estate Administrator and the person contesting the Will pay the upfront cost of their legal fees. At the end of the case, the Court may decide that one of the parties are liable for reimbursement.
A complex Contentious Probate case that includes dealing with a large Estate and/or multiple beneficiaries can take a long time to contest, so you should be prepared for what could be a long case.
However, our Contentious Probate Solicitors can provide the support and guidance you need. Contact us for a free initial case assessment and ask if we can deal with you case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Why Contest a Will?
When your loved one passes away, their Will is left as a blueprint to their wishes. This is why it’s so important to keep your Will updated. As your life changes, so should your Will. Statistics show that 53% of British adults don’t make a Will or update their existing Will after a significant life event such as getting married or having a child.
These kind of statistics support why so many family members and friends feel they need to contest a Will that they feel doesn’t reflect their loved ones wishes.
The reasons you might feel that you need to contest a Will are:
- The Will is invalid because your loved one lost their mental capacity to make a Will or were pressured into creating it. It’s also possible that the Will was not signed or witnessed correctly.
- The Will has been forged
The Court of Protection can also order that a Will be made on behalf of someone who has lost capacity. This is known as a statutory Will. If you don’t agree with the order or its proposed terms and feel like it isn’t in your loved ones best interests, you can challenge the Will.
Contesting a Will can be upsetting and difficult, which is why having the right legal support is vital.
Who Can Dispute a Will?
If a Will is legally valid, only those people with a vested interest in it can challenge it. These people are:
- Direct Family members (g. children or grandchildren)
- A beneficiary named in the current Will or a previous Will
- A person who has relied on the deceased person financially before their death
- A creditor who is owed money
What are the Costs?
Costs vary from case to case and depend on how willing each party is to negotiate terms of an agreement and how long the case takes. Our Contentious Probate Solicitors will do their best to settle your case out of Court to keep your fees as low as possible.
If your case does go to Court, you could face much larger fees but we will advise you on every cost you may face.
There are different funding options when you are contesting a Will. Often, the payment can come from the assets that are tied up in your loved ones Estate, but during Probate, this may not always be the case.
Funding options include:
- Legal Expenses Insurance
- No Win, No Fee arrangements
- Payment on conclusion of the case
- Private monthly billing
- Litigation loads and third party funding
Get Legal Advice
We offer legal advice on contesting a Will or Contentious Probate. One of our Solicitors can advise you on the best course of action. We may be able to deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.
For free initial case assessment call our Contentious Probate Solicitors
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