Inheritance disputes are surprisingly common but no one likes to talk about them or to acknowledge the extent of animosity an inheritance dispute can produce within a family. Expert inheritance dispute solicitor, Chris Strogen, focuses on getting to the heart of the problem, understanding the emotions and financial considerations behind the inheritance dispute and trying to reach a resolution.
Who do we help?
Specialist inheritance dispute solicitor Chris Strogen can help beneficiaries of a will, the executors of a will or those looking to challenge the validity of the will. Whoever Evolve helps in an inheritance dispute, our expert solicitors focus on the issues in dispute and the legal principles applied by the Court if a court application is made. By taking the emotion out of often highly emotionally charged disputes we are able to help achieve resolution through expert but pragmatic inheritance dispute legal advice.
Will legal experts
Will solicitor, Chris Strogen, is an expert in writing wills, estate planning and probate. He creates bespoke wills and powers of attorney. These aspects of Chris’s work help with his understanding of inheritance disputes and how and why they can arise and how to avoid them occurring in the first place.
Why choose the inheritance dispute solicitors at Evolve Family Law
Louise Halford and Robin Charrot founded Evolve Family Law. They are expert family law solicitors dedicated to helping people resolve complex family disputes. Inheritance disputes, whether you are challenging or defending a will, can be just as emotionally charged. That’s why it’s vital to have an expert inheritance dispute solicitor on your side who’ll listen to you and hear your entire story before taking an objective view and offering an honest opinion and focussed advice. Inheritance dispute solicitor, Chris Strogen, gives easy to understand specialist advice taking a personal approach so you understand your options on how best to resolve the inheritance dispute.
Inheritance Disputes – Your Questions Answered
What is an inheritance dispute?
An inheritance dispute occurs when an individual is not satisfied with the contents of a will and they believe the will to be flawed. With the rise in remarriages and second and third families, inheritance disputes and claims against estates are becoming increasingly common because of competing claims to any inheritance.
What are the grounds for an inheritance dispute claim?
There are a number of potential grounds for an inheritance dispute questioning the validity of a will. For example:
- Saying the will-maker (called a testator) did not have the mental capacity to make a will. Typically, this allegation is made when there is a concern that the will-maker was suffering from dementia when they made their will
- Saying the will-maker was coerced or forced into signing their will. This is referred to as undue influence
- Saying the will-maker did not make the will because it is a forgery
- Saying the will wasn’t signed by the deceased or witnessed properly so the will lacked the necessary legal formalities
- The deceased didn’t know what they were signing when they signed the will or didn’t understand it.
Inheritance dispute investigations
When it is said that the will-maker did not have the necessary level of knowledge to understand their will, there are instances where evidence may be required that the will-maker did understand their actions when they signed their will. For example, in situations where:
- The main beneficiary was closely involved with the creation of the will
- The will was homemade with no advice from a will solicitor
- A medical opinion was not sought on the will maker’s capacity
- The will-maker was behaving unusually
- The will is factually incorrect or contains multiple spelling mistakes
- There is no obvious rational explanation for the decisions made. For example, the will-maker had not fallen out with his close relatives but left his estate to a distant relative. Those challenging the will may have a suspicion that the will-maker was coerced or unduly influenced by the distant relative who is the unexpected major beneficiary of the will.
Who can contest a will?
The law says that certain people can contest a will, namely:
- A beneficiary in the will
- Someone who is owed money by the deceased
- Someone who was promised something by the deceased.
In addition to inheritance disputes and challenging the will, some people can bring a claim against the estate if the deceased’s will (or intestacy provision if the deceased died without a will) didn’t make reasonable financial provision for them. This could include children, spouses or civil partners. Alternatively, a challenge could be mounted as a result of professional negligence by anyone involved in the writing of the will or the execution of it. For example, if the will writer failed to follow the correct procedures or to accurately reflect and record the testator’s wishes.