Contesting a will with

Contesting a will with

Let’s not beat about the bush, it is sometimes difficult (but not impossible!) to successfully contest a Will. Given so, whilst a number of Solicitors now advertise their services for this work, many will not do so under a no win no fee arrangement. Willclaim (which is a marketing website for Inspire Law Solicitors) is an exception to this as we are able to offer our services on a no win no fee basis to almost all of our clients.

Does this mean we are prepared to take on every Will Contest Claim (under a no win no fee arrangement)?

Clearly no! We have to be satisfied that we will win your case. This does not necessarily mean you have to have a cast iron case (no one can know that at the very first stage of considering the claim) but the potential client must:

• Be honest!
• Answer all of our questions (or say where you cannot)
• Be determined to proceed but flexible enough to deal with the inevitable advice that you will receive (from us) on costs and risk (this is not a black and white process and there is not necessarily and right and wrong answer)
• Accept that in the English and Welsh jurisdiction, there is no right to inherit from the estate of a near relative (including your mother and father) and in particular that there is no concept in law of family property (which passes down through the generations)

How quickly can we proceed with your claim

Most Will Contest claims are resolved in about 6 to 12 months. A minority can become protracted, but they remain a minority. More importantly, and bearing in mind when we take on your claim, we are unlikely to have all of the available evidence, we should be able to determine within a few months whether there is sufficient to enable you to continue with your claim and ultimately to win it. If you cannot, we would both simply walk away from the dispute and given the no win no fee arrangement, you would have no responsibility to meet our fees.

Why are Will Contest claims sometimes difficult to win?

There are different reasons for different cases, but here are some examples:

• In a claim that a Will is not valid because the person making it lacked legal testamentary capacity because of dementia, it is because in general one is reliant on contemporaneous medical records prepared by honest medical professionals who completed them to assist their treatment of the deceased (eg. for dementia) and not for the purpose of legal proceedings – therefore by their nature they will be deficient
• In a claim that a Will is not valid because of “undue influence”, there is unlikely to be any evidence (at all) of the undue influence, since, given its’ nature, it will be underhand and/or hidden (normally clients who make this claim will “presume” there must have been undue influence, since they were left out of the will in the context of earlier promises or because of an assumed parental duty to them)
• In the context of the current law of England and Wales (whereby there is no right to a parent’s estate), a claim by a disappointed adult child for financial provision pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, is usually very difficult to run absent “special reasons” which include ill health causing poverty
• In general, because one is often reliant on evidence that is years old

How many Will Contest claims do we win?

Most!! – but please be clear, this strips out those claims we identify we cannot pursue in the first few months following our instruction (see above).