types of contentious probate claim

Types of Contentious Probate Claim That We Deal

Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, highlight the types of contentious probate and Will dispute claims which they most commonly deal with

Typically what type of Will contest and Will dispute cases do we deal with?

We highlight the broad range of the types of Will dispute and Will contest claims that we deal with below, although they are largely referred to in our website at:

We should add that in relation to all of the cases we refer to below, we act for both Claimant and Defendant and in general under no win no fee arrangements (but also pay as you go).

Will validity

What does this refer to? These in general are cases where there is an issue over the legal validity of a particular Will. Typical examples are those where a Will has been made by a testator who doesn’t have sufficient mental capacity to do so (usually by reason of dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease) and/or where the Will has been “procured” by undue influence and/or a hybrid claim involving both of these.
Another issue may well be whether the Will was actually signed by the testator (forgery and/or fraud) and/or properly witnessed by two independent witnesses who were present at the time and witnessed the signing and then signed it themselves. This is to ensure the Will complies with section 9 of the Wills Act 1837:

Again, this might be an issue which is dealt with in combination with those we mention above (capacity and/or undue influence). Certainly, this was the situation in McCabe v McCabe [2015] EWHC 1591 (Ch) [albeit fraud/forgery was not in issue]:

where the fight between two children of the deceased spawned a multitude of claims against the legal validity of the Will, none of which were ultimately successful.

No or insufficient inheritance

This simply refers to claims by near relatives (usually – but sometimes non-related dependents) of a deceased who have financial needs not met by the deceased’s Will or the rules of intestacy (where there is no Will at all). The claims are for financial provision, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975:

There are then a limited number of potential claimants and importantly those claiming to have “looked after” a person for no remuneration are unlikely to have a sustainable case (unless they can prove substantial dependency).
The “classic” claimants are in general the following:
• Spouse
• Children (to include adult children)
• Financial dependents
Of these three distinct types of potential claimant, those with the strongest cases are invariably spouses (the deceased’s widow or widower) and those who were dependent (not necessarily on simply regular handouts but also those who were dependent on the deceased for accommodation). However, by far the largest group of claimants are of course adult children. Given the ’75 Inheritance Act was not designed to overturn the testator’s intentions in connection with his/her estate, their claims tend to be much more limited and/or more strongly contested.

No or improper estate administration

These tend to be cases where for whatever reason the estate is not being administered at all and/or improperly. The former comprise the largest category – no administration at all. Invariably this appears to arise for one primary reason which is that the Executor is living in the deceased’s property!

How are these cases resolved? One of our earlier blogs refers:

The most desirable route is probably via an application to the Probate Registry (rather than a full-blown claim in the High Court), particularly where there is a dispute between persons entitled to a Grant to the same degree.

If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, 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 and/or visit us at

We provide details about our no win no fee arrangements at