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Contentious Probate Solicitors and Will Disputes

Contentious Probate refers to a disagreement, usually relating to an inheritance or Will, which arises following the death of a family member or friend. 

At Lanyon Bowdler, we understand that disagreements like this can cause a lot of worry at what is already a very difficult time. 

Our team is friendly and approachable with a proven track record of getting things sorted quickly and efficiently. They can explain everything in a clear, easy to understand manner, helping you through disputes with sensitivity, speed and assurance.

We have offices in Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry, Ludlow and Hereford, which means we can deal with queries from across Shropshire, Wales, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire and The Marches.

If you are worried about how much legal services may cost, please feel free to contact us to talk about our wide range of pricing options, which include fixed fees as well as service level guarantees, demonstrating our commitment to the level of service we are able to offer.

Contentious Probate Services

The death of a loved one is extremely distressing and can be made all the more traumatic if you or someone else believes the will to be invalid.

Our team is experienced in dealing with all types of will and inheritance disputes and can help challenge a will’s validity via Validity Claims. Our solicitors can also make sure you are able to claim what you are entitled to in a will via Financial Provision Claims.

They are also experts at helping people recover assets which may have been promised to them via Proprietary Estoppel, or dealing with Negligence or Rectification Claims.

In the unfortunate circumstances of a dispute about a will between beneficiaries, trustees or personal representatives, our specialists are experienced at dealing with  Trust Disputes and will work with you to find a solution.

Who can contest a will?

 In the vast majority of cases, a will is contested by a family member. For example:

  • A spouse or civil partner
  • A partner who has lived with the deceased for two years or more
  • A former spouse
  • A child
  • A step-child
  • A dependent

As a family member, you are not necessarily or automatically entitled to receive anything from the deceased’s estate but our accomplished team of solicitors will act swiftly to establish the facts and background to your case, before advising you on the chances of overturning the existing terms of the will.

We can offer advice on whether it is appropriate to contest the will and on the next steps to take.

Grounds for contesting a will 

Disputes often arise over the division of assets or the exclusion of an expected beneficiary completely.

Grounds for contesting a will can include:

  • The will was unsigned
  • It was not witnessed properly
  • Doubt over the validity of the will
  • The deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a will at the time
  • The deceased was influenced or coerced into making the will
  • Impropriety on the behalf of the executors or trustees
  • The solicitor that drafted the will did so negligently
  • The will fails to adequately provide for family members and dependents of the deceased
  • Forgery and Fraud

How we can help

If you feel that you have been unfairly left out of a will or you are an executor who is either acting on someone else’s behalf or defending a claim, our specialist legal team are there to help with the expertise and experience that you need.

If you believe you have grounds to contest a will, it is imperative that you contact us without delay. In some cases, a claim must be brought within six months of any Grant of Probate. You don’t have long, so take legal advice as soon as possible.

Recommendations

The Contentious Probate team has been highlighted as one of the best in the region - the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 recognised the team at Tier Three in the West Midlands, saying "The team is led by associate Claire Vale who has a strong reputation in probate disputes, financial provision claims, applications to remove executors and rectification claims."

Lanyon Bowdler is led by associate Claire Vale who has a strong reputation in probate disputes, financial provision claims, applications to remove executors and rectification claims. Other key figures include assistant solicitor Lanyon Bowdler and litigation assistant Mandy Brookfield.

 

Contact Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors

Associate solicitor Claire Vale leads the department and is a member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) - only one other solicitor in the area is a member of ACTAPS.

Give us a call or complete our online enquiry form, to see how we can help. We have offices in Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bromyard and Hereford so are able to act for clients all over Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and across the Midlands.

You can also contact Claire or call the Shrewsbury office.

Testimonials

Natasha Gibbons was very easy to talk to, I felt at ease with her, and she always kept me up to date with the case. She has provided excellent service throughout.

- Mrs C Roberts, Gwynedd

A nice bright welcoming office with very polite, friendly and helpful staff. Very efficient service.

- Mr N Bakewell & Mrs J Bakewell, Worcester

Under difficult circumstances from the moment I walked in, I was the only person that mattered. She could not do enough for me. Kind and compassionate. Thank you so much.

- Mrs J McMillan, Telford

Very polite, easy to talk to and were always there when I needed answers.

- Mr M Wood, Hereford

Knowledge of all issues regarding house purchase. Used you before four years ago and you're still performing to a high standard.

- Mrs J Ward & Dr J Jenkins, Shrewsbury

Quotes

As as Welsh speaker, I attach great importance to being able to communicate in Welsh with my solicitor - as I can with him.

- Mr H Jones & R Jones, Llanrhystud

As a charity legacy officer I am used to reluctance from professional executors to communicate. I found him professional yet friendly and efficient at all times - very pleased.

- Cats Protection, Haywards Heath

The team were easy to talk to and explained everything clearly

- Mr Price, Hereford

Efficient and hassle free, thanks so much.

- Mrs J Moller, Oswestry

The welcome at reception and the relaxed atmosphere when discussing things with the person handling the sale of my property.

- Mr W Ward, Oswestry

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