The death of a loved one can be particularly difficult if there are issues surrounding the Will (or lack of a Will) or a gift made in their lifetime. Similarly, problems can arise with executors, trustee and beneficiaries.
How we can help
We can help you with the following issues:
- Where the capacity of the Testator is doubted
The testator (will-maker) must have sufficient mental capacity to make a Will. If it can be shown that the testator did not have sufficient mental capacity, then the Will is invalid. There are straight-forward steps that can be taken to try to ascertain capacity at the outset of the case.
- Where the Will was not validly executed
By way of example, the testator must sign his Will, or acknowledge his signature, in the presence of two witnesses at the same time who must also sign in each other’s presence. If this is not done, the Will is treated as being invalid.
- Where the executed Will does not match the instructions given by the testator
An application for Rectification can be made to the court and an action for professional negligence can be considered against the will writers.
- Family Provision Claims
These are claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 where a claim can be made against the estate of the deceased if reasonable financial provision has not been made for you or a minor that you are assisting. You will need to satisfy certain criteria before you can bring the case.
- Disputes concerning the Administration of Estates
Personal representatives (for example, the executor) can be held to account by the beneficiaries. We can advise executors on how best to act in a situation so as to avoid being sued personally. We can also advise beneficiaries on straight forward steps that can be taken in order to move matters along including forcing the personal representative to take out the grant or letters of administration.
- Lifetime Gifts
Where gifts are made during the lifetime of the deceased, these can be undone in certain circumstances.
- Professional Negligence
If professional advice received by the deceased was negligent, the deceased acted upon that advice to his detriment and he suffered a loss as a result, we can bring (or defend) an action for professional negligence on behalf of the estate. This includes actions against solicitors who drafted the Will.