Probate is the legal process by which a deceased assets are all collected, valued and then distributed to the beneficiaries as stated in the will.
Contentious probate is a legal process where a person disputes the validity or the interpretation of the deceased’s will.
The non contentious probate rules 1987 are a set of legislation that were passed in 1987, and they came into effect in 1988. This legislation sets out non-contentious probate rules to be followed during probate proceedings.
The non contentious probate rules 1987 are used by both the contentious probate solicitors and person acting as the representative.
Here is a short video that explains more about contentious probate.
In the event that the deceased left a will then the person named in the will becomes the executor of the estate. Their main duty is to share the estate as outlined in the will.
If the deceased did not leave a will, then the court will appoint an administrator. The administrator applies for a letter of estate administration that enables him to execute the estate.
The letter of estate administration is a court document that gives the administrator legal authority over the decease’s estate. An administrator can be anyone from a next of kin to the closest surviving relatives according to the contentious probate rules.
For you to be able to launch an inheritance claim you must fit the description of persons who can launch a claim as stated in section 1 of the Inheritance Act of 1975. These include the children and spouse of the recently deceased or a person who lived with the diseased for two years or more prior to their death.
The next step is to figure out, on what grounds you can contest the will. For example, was the deceased of sound mind when he made the will? If not you have a valid reason to file a claim.
Finally, if a will does not comply with the Wills act 1837 then it is invalid in the eyes of the law.
If you have grounds to contest a will, then you should do it early enough. This is done to place the executor on notice before the inheritance is distributed.
If you want to contest a will using the inheritance act, the time limit is 6 months from the time the probate is granted. If you want to contest a will on grounds of fraud then there is no time limit.
Whenever a person has a valid right to file a claim, then they are presented with several routes to take to arrive at a resolution.
Before the will of the deceased is executed a grant of probate letter is issued by the probate registry. A grant of probate letter is a document issued to the next of kin or to the executor named in the will to confirm their authority to execute the will. If the estate left behind is small then a grant letter is not needed. If the estate is big then the need for a grant letter is highly dependent on the limits set by the respective societies like banks or building societies.
The contentious probate costs cannot be approximated. A lot of factors go into the computation of the total cost. For example, the costs of contentious probate proceedings depends on the amount of time it will take to complete the proceeding.
Also, the costs of contentious probate varies depending on the size of the estate involved. The costs of contentious probate could get even higher if there are specialists involved.
This is a legal practitioner hired by a client to contest a will and follow through on any legal procedures necessary. A good solicitor should be a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists. Such solicitors are specialists in wills.
If a person files for Contentious probate then they should decide whether they will need a contentious probate solicitor. In England, a person can choose either to hire a probate solicitor or represent himself in the proceedings.
The speed to which probate disputes are resolved in the United Kingdom is very subjective. It all depends on the size, the complexity of the estates, the nature of assets and whether contentious probate arises.
For simple estates, the probate disputes will be resolved in less than 3 months. For large complex estates, it can take anywhere between 6 months to 1 year to get a resolution.
At the end of the Contested probate proceedings, the cost of the litigation must be met. There are two ways by which the costs can be met
• If the persons who made the will is the one found to have caused the probate proceedings the cost can be met by the estate
• If the court arrives at the conclusion that an investigation into the will was justified, then it will order that the costs of the litigation be met by the individuals who bore them.
It is recommended that you get a Probate solicitor who is well acquainted with contentious probate rules.
Follow up on proceedings once probate is granted, from the time the executor apply’s for probate with the Probate registry to the time when either a settlement agreement or the final court verdict is given.
We have partnered with Trust Inheritance, the UK’s leading probate specialists, to bring our site users a cost effective but premium level probate service. The costs for the service start at only £500 plus VAT and you can choose how much you want to do and how much you want Trust Inheritance to do.
The services are broken down in to 3 tiers, which essentially allow you to choose how involved you want to be in the probate process.
This is a fantastic and in-depth, comprehensive, online ‘Do it Yourself’ service, giving you everything you need to ensure you have dealt with the estate in line with your responsibilities and liability as a personal representative.
This toolkit can be used whether a Grant of Representation (also known as the Grant of Probate, Administration or Confirmation) is required or not, even if a Will was not left.
This is a great tool to help families, executors and administrators discover what to do when someone dies. From the immediate steps to take, for example, registering the death, obtaining a death certificate, arranging a funeral, looking after dependents or securing the property; to distributing the property or possessions of the deceased.
Below are the benefits of the online toolkit:
Basically this gives you everything you need and the cost of this support is only £500 plus VAT. You will struggle to find such a comprehensive service at a lower cost.
This is the next tier up and gives you everything that you would get in the ‘Tell me what to do” approach above.
In addition to all the benefits of the ‘Tell me what to do” approach, we will also Fast Track the Grant of Representation application. Trust Inheritance will appoint you a personal Bereavement Adviser who will be by your side through the whole process.
As Trust Inheritance are a Trust Corporation, less information is required by the Courts when they apply for the Grant on your behalf.
This means Court fees are reduced saving money against the estate and crucially, the Grant is expedited and issued within weeks of application, rather than months; quickly freeing up funds to cover costs and expenses, as well as allowing interim payments to be made to those who are due to benefit much sooner.
If you are looking to get through the probate process quickly then this will really be beneficial to you.
The costs for this level of personal support are only £1,500 plus VAT.
This is the 3rd tier and essentially means that Trust Inheritance will do everything for you. This is the most comprehensive service you can get.
You will be assigned a Solicitor, who will deal with the entire matter for you and will be on hand throughout. They will cover everything needed in order to finalise the Estate Administration and to ensure your legal responsibilities are adhered to.
The costs for this level of total support are 1.99% of the value of the estate subject to a minimum of £2,250 plus VAT. This approach will work best for those that would prefer to let someone else deal with all the various bodies that need to be notified once someone passes away. As a comparator these costs are typically half of what a bank would look to charge you.
If you would like some help and either know which of the 3 tiered approach you would like to use, or would just like to chat through each to help you decide which is right for you; please call us on 0800 840 1187 or you can leave your contact details at the bottom of this page and someone will be in touch to help.