CONTESTING A WILL – TOP TIPS IN RELATION TO YOUR INITIAL ENQUIRY TO A NO WIN NO FEE SOLICITOR
1. It sounds obvious but your no win no fee Solicitor in relation to a will dispute or will contest case is only likely to be willing to work for you under a no win no fee arrangement, if they consider that they can win your claim (although there are certain types of claim which they might be willing to take on speculatively).
2. It also sounds obvious to say it, but a no win no fee Solicitor is only likely to agree to take your will dispute or will contest case forward (under a no win no fee arrangement) where they feel able to trust you in relation to the claims that you are making and that they can work with you until the end – it is essentially a relationship of trust with a common interest in the outcome.
3. Your no win no fee Solicitor in a will dispute or will contest claim will expect you to have a realistic view of the “best outcome” which is unlikely to be a complete victory or indeed your day in court at the trial with a Judge “inspired” by the force of your evidence*. The “best outcome” in a will dispute or will contest claim is most likely to be some form of compromise. The most experienced no win no fee Solicitors in will dispute and will contest claims will have warned you to expect a certain realistic outcome from the start of the claim.
4. Finally and as bizarre as it seems, we do sometimes come across prospective clients who seem willing withhold key information and/or exaggerate facts (even in a mild way) or provide “rehearsed scripts” honed by the failure of enquiries to other no win no fee Solicitors in the hope of securing our agreement to act as their Solicitor in a no win no fee capacity in relation to their will dispute or will contest claim. Even if we were “persuaded” to act, their claim is in our experience almost certain to fail when the true facts begin to present themselves once the claim is up and running. For example, where it might have been claimed the deceased didn’t have sufficient mental capacity when the Will was made, his or her medical records are likely to undermine the position.
(*NOTE: you will understand that whilst your own evidence might by your understanding be “logical” and “obvious”, its importance is much diminished by your self-interest. The best possible evidence is invariably that which is provided by “independent” professionals, for example, Solicitors and Doctors. It naturally follows that where the disputed Will was prepared by a Solicitor it will be much more difficult to contest and similarly where a Doctor confirms your relative had capacity when the disputed Will was made)
Key facts you should have to hand on initial enquiry (ALTHOUGH WE AT LEAST RECOGNISE THAT NOT ALL OF THESE ARE LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE TO YOU AND TAKE THAT INTO ACCOUNT)
1. The deceased’s name, date of death, date of birth and the date of the Will (NOTE: we recognise that it is very often the case the new and potentially disputed Will’s details are often withheld by Solicitors involved in the administration of the deceased’s estate).
2. Your relationship to the deceased.
3. Whether the deceased prepared any previous Wills.
4. The approximate size and make up of the deceased’s estate.
5. Whether the deceased was married or divorced (and if so when), living with anyone and details of his or her children.
6. Whether any claims are being made in relation to promises made by the deceased in relation to his or her estate (to leave it in a certain way).
7. Whether any claims are being made for a share of the deceased’s estate arising from an investment by way of money, work or by some other means (help with a particular project, business and/or property for example)
8.Whether your claim and/or those of others relates in part to unmet financial needs from the deceased’s estate related to a dependency on the deceased (for accommodation, care, money or something else) or which arises because your poor health or care for others.
If you consider that any of these facts and matters are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat.