Why do you need a specialist Contentious Probate Solicitor?

Contentious probate covers a variety of disputes that can arise after someone’s death and is a niche area of law. It sits between non-contentious probate (such as the drafting of wills, trusts management and estate administration) and civil litigation. So why should you seek legal advice from a specialist contentious probate solicitor?

Generally, solicitors working in civil litigation deal with commercial and property disputes. They may not be alive to the personal and sensitive nature of issues that can arise in contentious probate, which often involves grieving relatives, strained relationships and high emotions. There are also specific quirks in contentious probate law that more generalist litigators may not be aware of. By contrast, most non-contentious wills and probate lawyers do not have the necessary knowledge and experience of pre-action processes and court litigation and may be less confident in handling disputes. This can sometimes lead to a barrister being instructed to advise, at additional cost to the client, which could have been avoided at that stage of a claim.

Contentious probate disputes can involve a wide range of different issues that require knowledge of the rules in civil litigation but also the principles involved in wills, trusts and probate. Such cases, amongst many others, include will challenges, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, disputes in estate administration (such as the removal of executors) and proprietary estoppel claims.

These disputes need to be considered with great care due to their sensitive nature. Many of our clients’ cases involve personal and emotional issues, often concerning individuals who have lost mental capacity. This can lead to challenging disputes between family members which require careful negotiation to resolve.

Our specialist team of contentious probate lawyers have the necessary expertise and knowledge to handle these disputes delicately whilst providing a comprehensive and cost-effective service.

Decisions made at the beginning of a dispute can have a huge impact on the way matters unfold as a claim progresses. Therefore, you should seek advice from a specialist contentious probate solicitor from the outset who can assist on all aspects of the case, from start to finish.

It may be that obtaining an objective view from a specialist solicitor can help to focus or narrow the issues in a protracted dispute. With expertise in this field, our contentious probate team are often able to help to limit the stress, time and costs of parties becoming embroiled in contentious probate litigation.

If you find yourself involved in an estate dispute or are needing specialist assistance in a complex matter, please contact us to discuss your dispute in more detail.

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