Contentious Probate/Will Disputes

Contentious Probate/Will Disputes

Contentious probate refers to any dispute following a person’s death. In the event of a dispute, it is vitally important to obtain specialist advice to understand your rights and the options available to you.

At Taylor Hampton, we have specialist knowledge in managing probate and inheritance disputes. We take a compassionate approach, whilst being robust in bringing or defending contested or contentious claims to advise you on the legal implications that must be considered and to resolve matters as effectively as possible. 

We deal with all manner of disputes, both in England and Wales and Internationally, acting for beneficiaries, executors and trustees.

How Can We Help?

There are a wide range of disputes that can arise upon a person’s death. Our services can help you with:

  • Challenging the validity of a will 
  • Defending the validity of a will
  • Interpretational issues (such as disputes surrounding the meaning and construction of the will)
  • Disputes between beneficiaries, executors and others concerning the estate and its administration
  • Claims against the estate under the Inheritance Act

Challenging a will

The most common type of probate dispute involves the validity of a deceased’s will. There are five main grounds for challenging the validity of a will, including:

  1. Testamentary capacity. A testator must have had the requisite mental capacity necessary to be able to execute a will at the time that it was signed.
  2. Lacking knowledge and approval. A testator must have had a firm understanding of their will, approved the contents of the will and understood the implications of its terms. 
  3. Undue Influence. A testator must not have acted against their own volition due to undue influence exerted over them by another person into making or amending their will to include terms that were not the testator’s true wishes. 
  4. Fraud and forgery. A will can be deemed invalid if there is sufficient evidence to show that it has been forged. 
  5. Rectification. A will may not accurately reflect the testator’s true intentions if there is sufficient to show that there has been a mistake or clerical error. 

Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975

In addition to challenging the validity of a will, a common claim is for financial provision under the Act. A claimant will often request that the court uses the Act to vary the terms of an otherwise valid distribution of an estate.

The Act provides certain categories of people the ability to challenge an inheritance provision or lack thereof against an estate if they believe they have been left without reasonable financial provision. The court will look to consider how an award from the estate could assist you. 

The following categories of people can bring a claim under the Act:

  • Spouses or civil partners
  • Children of the deceased 
  • Any person that was treated like a child of the deceased 
  • Any person being financially dependent prior to the death of the deceased (including people who have been excluded from their estate)

Why Choose Taylor Hampton?

Contentious probate disputes are usually complex, costly and emotional. Specialist tailored advice should be sought at an early stage.  

At Taylor Hampton, we have a deep understanding of the issues that arise in this area of law and represent both claimants and defendants involved in contentious probate.  If you have concerns as to the validity of a will, believe that a testator has left their estate in a different manner that they would otherwise have done so or wish to contest your position in terms of inheritance, our solicitors will provide clear advice and strive to resolve the issues without escalation. However, if legal proceedings are unavoidable, they will pursue or defend your position robustly. 


If you would like to speak to one of our experienced professional negligence solicitors in relation to your matter, please call us on 0207 427 5970.