Is the estate of a deceased being properly dealt with by those who have the responsibility to do so?
Do you have doubts about the validity of a will?
Has a will failed to adequately provide for you?
If you’re facing these issues, there are actions you can take.
The legal validity of a will can be challenged, even if it was prepared by a professional such as a solicitor. Grounds for doing so include:
- The deceased lacked the mental capacity to make a will
- The deceased did not understand his or her estate or obligations so could not approve a will
- The will resulted from a deceased being subjected to duress or undue pressure
- The will was not properly signed and/or witnessed
Other problems can arise such as
- the will being made shortly before death
- close relatives or individuals who would have been expected to benefit not being included
- an overly generous provision being made to an individual(s) for no obvious reason
- the will departing from an earlier one he or she made.
In the event that there is no valid will, a deceased’s estate fails to be distributed in accordance with intestacy rules.
If you have doubts about a will, take legal advice as soon as possible. Any delay in doing so may impact your ability to bring or defend a claim against an estate.
If it is established that a will is legally valid, as immediate family or dependants you may be able to bring a claim against an estate on the basis that it does not make adequate financial provision for you. Such claims can also be made if a deceased did in fact not make a valid will or his or her estate fails to be distributed in accordance with intestacy rules. However, very strict time limits apply for making these types of claims. Missing the legal deadline can lead to a claim failing in its entirety. For this reason, it is essential to take advice in relation to an inheritance claim as soon as possible.
If the affairs of a deceased are not being dealt with properly by the appointed executors/trustees or administrators, there are options available to beneficiaries of an estate. These can include claiming compensation for any financial loss to the estate or the removal of the executor/trustee(s) concerned because of their unwillingness or inability to competently administer the estate.
Should you have concerns about delay in administration or whether all estate assets have been accounted for, we can provide advice as to what steps can be taken to rectify matters.
Get in touch with our dispute resolution team on 02392 820 747 to discuss your options.