Probate is the legal process by which a deceaseds 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.
Here is a short video explaining what probate is.
The non-contentious probate rules 1987 is a set of legislation that was 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 vary 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 applies for probate with the Probate registry to the time when either a settlement agreement or the final court verdict is given.
The UK Care Guide has partnered with Co-Op Legal Services, the UK’s leading probate specialists, to bring our site users a cost effective but premium level probate service.
We realise that for many it is essential that probate is completed quickly. That is why our dedicated service is designed to speed things up as much as possible for you and consequently reduce the time it takes for probate to be completed.
Our support can be broken down into 2 options. This allows you to choose how involved you want to be in the probate process.
Using this approach means that we provide you with some support and tell you what you need to do.
Co-op Legal Services offer a Bereavement Notification Service, which provides practical advice and assistance following a bereavement. This then allows you to take on much of the work involved with probate.
The Co-op can help with financial matters, such as providing template letters for you to give to the bank, building society, pension provider and other financial institutions about your loss.
The service can also help with stopping unwanted mail, closing social media accounts and giving advice where there has been a referral to the coroner or there is to be an inquest.
Co-op Legal Services offers a complete Probate Service and will do all the work for you. There are no upfront costs for this service and a fixed fee can be agreed at the outset to give you peace of mind.
They will take full responsibility for getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs on your behalf.
A Probate specialist can meet with you in your home or another location (in England or Wales) to explain the Probate process and to answer your questions.
They will provide you with a Fixed Fee Probate quote which is based on the individual circumstances of your loved one’s Estate. The prices are some of the best value in the UK.
There are no upfront costs to pay as all Probate fees are deferred and will be taken from the Estate once it is in funds.
Co-op Legal Services is a trading name of Co-operative Legal Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If easier, you can book an appointment on this page, using the calendar below, with a probate specialist. They will be able to help answer any questions you have and also provide you withmore information on the free bereavement support service that they offer.