Have you recently lost a loved one? Do you think there’s something not right about their Will? Losing a partner or relative is heartbreaking. The last thing you want to do is see their estate go to the wrong places.
Do you need the help of a solicitor specialising in Wills? Bendles has been helping the people of Carlisle settle Will disputes for over 200 years. Get in touch with Bendles today to arrange a consultation. Give us a call on 01228 522215 to book one now. Or just pop in.
Although we all know that death is inevitable, we don’t always have the good foresight to make a Will. If your loved one has passed away and you don’t think the terms of the Will are in line with their final wishes, you may be able to dispute it.
Losing a loved one is a horrible thing, imagine how much worse the grieving process will be if there are problems with the Will. If you were promised your partner’s home after their death, it can be a sickening shock to discover that it hasn't been left to you.
There are several reasons for contesting a Will. If you think any of the following are true of your loved one’s Will, then you may have a case:
Undue influence - if you believe a Will has been made with pressure from another person to do so.
Lack of testamentary capacity - was the person who made the Will in sound mind when they made it?
Lack of valid execution - if any of the conditions specified in Wills Act 1837 are not met.
Lack of knowledge and approval - if you believe your loved one was unaware of the content of their Will. A large gift to a person who helped prepare it may be a sign of this.
The Will was forged - if you believe the will wasn't made or signed by your loved one but someone else. Also if someone lies to have another person taken out of a Will.
Rectification or construction - if you don’t think the Will was drafted correctly - this could be a claim for professional negligence.
What if my loved one didn't leave a Will?
If someone dies without a Will, their Estate is distributed following the rules of Intestacy. In this case, the law decides who gets what. Relationships are often not taken into account. Complete lack of a Will can be distressing and makes it more difficult to get what you feel you’re owed.
If you should die without a Will, and are not married, your children would inherit everything. If you’re not married to your partner then they would not be legally entitled to any of your estate. Without a Will you won’t be able to decide who gets how much or what. Inheritance tax may also be higher in cases of intestacy.
With no Will, you’ll need to use a solicitor to apply for a grant of letters of administration. This allows you to become the administrator of the estate and it gives proof to banks, building societies and elsewhere that you’re authorised to access and pass around funds held in the deceased’s name.
If your loved one died with no living relatives and no Will, then all their estate goes to The Crown or government (referred to as bona vacantia).The Crown can make grants from the estate. If you think you have good reason to claim a grant, Bendles can help you pursue this. We’ll do everything we can to help you get access to your loved one’s estate.
We’ll help limit the stress of will disputes. As well as grieving for your lost loved one, you don’t want to have to fight with other relatives over who gets what. Bendles offers negotiation as a means of coming to an agreement without matters having to go to court. So you can come to an agreed compromise more easily than you would on your own.
Of course, the best way to avoid disputed Wills, is to get one drawn up properly in the first place. Failing that, Bendles will lend helping hand challenging a will. Get in touch with our dispute resolution expert, Michael Johnson, or Wills specialist John Stevenson for peace of mind today. Give us a call on 01228 522215 for a faster response.