When it comes to the process of contesting a will, there is no legal requirement for a solicitor to be instructed. There is absolutely nothing stopping someone from dealing with a will challenge.
Due to the potential legal costs involved when using a solicitor, it is understandable that some may wonder whether they need to incur the legal fees of contesting a will or defending a challenge. However, 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 challenging for an individual. 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, there is a huge risk involved by not seeking specialised legal advice and assistance at an early stage. This is particularly the case if you were to be unsuccessful at a trial and thereby ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs
So whilst it may seem attractive at the outset to deal with a matter yourself, to avoid having to pay legal fees, it could well cost you far more in the long run.
Private funding – paying our fees as the case progresses, usually on a monthly basis
Deferred funding – paying our fees at the conclusion of the case
No-Win, No-Fee – only paying our fees if the case is successful
These are offered 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.
We are here for you
If you wish to contest a will, you have been notified of someone wanting to contest a will that you are either dealing with or benefit from, then please contact our Contested Wills, Trusts and Estates 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.