Can I deal with a Will challenge without a Solicitor?

    Can I deal with a Will challenge without a Solicitor?

    In light of the potential legal costs involved in instructing a Solicitor, whether to contest the validity of a Will or in defending such a challenge, it is understandable that some may wonder whether it is worthwhile instructing a Solicitor and if they need to incur the legal fees.

    Whilst there is certainly no requirement for a Solicitor to be instructed, and absolutely nothing stopping someone from dealing with such a matter themselves, we do think that there is real value to be gained from instructing an experienced Solicitor who specialises in this area of law.

    What are the benefits of using a Solicitor?

    This area of law, known as Contentious Probate, is a highly specific and technical one.

    Knowing what sort of evidence needs to be sought and obtained, which will be relevant and persuasive to a Court when considering the validity of a Will is key.

    For example, it may be that certain types of Medical Records are required, or that the opinion of a Medical Expert is needed to support either a Claim or a Defence. Alternatively, Bank Statements, Property Transaction and Ownership documents, or Witness Statements may be more relevant and crucial in the success or otherwise of a case.

    Also, the process of actually obtaining that evidence can be very for an individual and whilst it shouldn’t necessarily be the case, either some systems are set up in a way that it is difficult for lay persons to navigate, or certain organisations can be obstructive in releasing information or documentation to lay persons when they would more willingly disclose the same to Solicitors.

    Lastly, with the potentially significant costs involved in Contentious Probate cases, particularly if you were to be unsuccessful at a Trial and thereby ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs, there is a huge risk involved by not seeking specialised legal advice and assistance at an early stage.

    Accordingly, whilst it may seem attractive at the outset to deal with a matter yourself, without a Solicitor being involved, so as to avoid having to pay legal fees, it could well cost you far more in the long run.

    Funding Options

    We offer a range of different funding arrangements to Clients, depending on the nature of the dispute (i.e. whether they are contesting a Will, facing a challenge to the validity of a Will, pursuing a Claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, or defending a Claim against the Estate).

    Those funding arrangements include:

    (i) Private Funding – paying our fees as the case progresses, usually on a monthly basis;

    (ii) Deferred Funding – paying our fees at the conclusion of the case; and

    (iii) No-Win, No-Fee – only paying our fees if the case is successful.

    Those are offered so as to ensure that all Clients with meritable Claims or Defences are able to pursue Contentious Probate cases if they so wish, without being dissuaded from doing so purely due to the potential legal costs involved or the issue of legal costs being a barrier to them doing so.


    If you are wish to contest a Will or you have been notified of someone wanting to contest a Will which you are either dealing with or benefit from, then then please contact our Contentious Probate Team on 01823 625841. We handle a variety of disputes and issues surrounding Wills and Estates. Further, we are able to offer high quality, cost-effective legal advice on such matters, with flexible funding arrangements such as Conditional Fee Agreements (i.e. No-Win, No-Fee arrangements) also being available.

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