The loss of a family member or loved one brings with it untold grief. Sadly, for some the grief does not end there, when disagreements arise about the loved one’s will, and resolving them requires intervention using legal channels. Contentious Probate is the legal terminology for such legal disputes.
What exactly is the definition of Contentious Probate? It is any dispute that arises from the administration of a deceased estate. The disagreement that occurs could be over the will, controversy over a diseased estate value and other assets, or a dispute between beneficiaries or executors.
To help solve the disputes, legal assistance is a requirement. A probate lawyer assists in disputing the legitimacy of what may seem to be the right and last valid will of the deceased. They also help their clients by helping them to investigate and prove the sincere wishes of the deceased on his/her will.
The challenging question for most people would be how to find the appropriate legal assistance for their disputes. Here are a few tips that can offer a definite solution to your question.
- When searching for legal aid, you should focus on finding solicitors that are specialists in contentious probate cases. Many law firms have a specific speciality in the judiciary system. Therefore, not all law firms can offer you the legal assistance you are looking for.
- The solicitors should offer you advice on the scope of your case. They should be able to tell you if the will does not include you, and how best to contest the will. A majority of contentious solicitors prefer settling the issue outside the court to avoid bad relations with other family members. However, if things escalate, a case to contest the will or inheritance is filed with proper representation from your probate lawyer. The advice they can offer on will or inheritance disagreements could be settling the issue using negotiations or settlements. There are ways to back up claims also, such as using websites like Genealogy Bank to backtrack a family tree and see how the family is linked, hopefully ending the issue of ‘the right to inherit’ so that everyone is on the correct page.
- Other than helping you win the probate case, they should also assist you with other services like writing a will. Probate lawyers should help their clients learn the importance of a will and how to write it. Having a stated will enables your loved ones not get into disputes.
However, if you die without a will, there are specific rules that your family members will have to follow. The rules dictate in place will prescribe the appropriate way to divide your wealth and assets. The division may not be according to your wishes.
To help prevent disputes and prolonged probate cases, your solicitor should offer appropriate advice when it comes to writing your will. The will should state your wealth, estates, money etc. it should also have the names of your beneficiaries and people who will be responsible for administering your estates.
Ultimately, the services your legal representation provide should assist you in closing your case in a civil and satisfactory way, and not simply help their law firm to profit from your dispute.
It is no secret that probate cases are emotional, but with the right legal assistance, anyone can settle the disputes.