Can Your Will Be Challenged After Probate Is Granted?
A Will can be contested and anyone has the option to do this. The reasons for someone to contest a Will can include worry that the Will could be invalid, or if someone who would usually have in interest in an estate has been excluded.
Families can be complicated when it comes to a death and particularly, when some doesn’t inherit what they expected. This can be tricky and sometimes even problematic for families, and everyone involved in the process.
Ultimately, a Will should honour the deceased wishes and a person can leave their estate to any one or number of people or charities. This article will go over information about Wills and Probate, and the importance of having a Will properly drafted by a legal professional.
What Is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that is created to express the wishes of someone, including what happens to one’s assets after their passing. This includes what happens to the deceased person’s money, possessions and property, with these being the main things that need to be distributed accordingly.
Making a Will is very important. It allows you to dictate exactly what happens to your estate before you pass and when you are mentally able to do this. Dying with no Will can result in certain rules dictating where your money goes, which may be against your true wishes.
In the contents of the Will, it should name a person to administer the estate. The term for this chosen person is called the ‘executor’. The document used to administer the estate is a legal document and is known as the ‘Grant of Probate’.
A Grant of Letters of Administration is a legal document that is issued when there is no Will, known as intestacy. This document gives the personal representative the legal authority to deal with the deceased person's property. The intestacy rules will dictate who the personal representative would be.
What Is the Purpose of a Will?
The purpose of a Will is to communicate your wishes clearly and precisely to your beneficiaries. It is a legal document that will dictate by law what happens to your assets after your death. It can even appoint guardians of minor children.
Creating a Will can also help you have some control over how much inheritance tax you will pay. Some people choose to leave everything to their spouse or civil partner in their Will in order to make use of the special allowances that are available when assets are gifted to a spouse or civil partner. Another option to reduce your inheritance tax is to give assets to others whilst you are still alive or by leaving part of your estate to charity.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the term that is used to administer the estate of the deceased people. Probate is a legal process of obtaining the relevant Grant, collecting the assets of the estate attending to payment of taxes, debts and expenses and distributing the estate to the relevant beneficiaries.
Part of the probate process also involves checking the authenticity of the Will, and ensuring that it is a valid and legitimate document written by the person of the deceased and not tampered with in any way. It is therefore important that you ensure your Will is properly drafted by a professional to ensure that no issues arise after you have passed away.
What Happens After Probate Is Granted?
Once probate has been granted, it is the executor's role to organise and distribute all the assets. This includes paying off administrative expenses and settling debts and taxes. Only when all these payments have been paid can the money, property, possessions and other assets, can be distributed as an inheritance.
The cost of probate can vary. There is a fixed fee that is paid to the government and then a fee that will be paid to your probate solicitor.
The final total fees will depend on how long the whole process takes from start to finish and whether there are complications along the way.
Can Your Will be Challenged After Probate Is Granted?
The short answer to this question is yes, a Will can be contested after probate has been granted. There are however, time limits on bringing a claim forward for contested probate.
If someone wants to contest your Will, they must do so within six months of when the Grant of Probate has been issued. Any claim made after this date will likely be unsuccessful.
It is therefore recommended that distribution does not take place until after six months have passed once the Grant of Probate has been issued. After the distribution stage, it can be seriously problematic to get the assets back, and this can then lead to more costs for which the executor would be responsible.
Get a Professional to Help Draft Your Will
Getting a professional to help you draft your will is essential. This will help avoid anyone challenging it in the future, which could be difficult for your loved ones to go through at such an upsetting time in their lives.
A specialist Wills & Probate solicitor from Bell Lamb & Joynson will be able to correctly draft your Will containing your wishes. The instructions in your Will will be set clearly so everyone involved will understand what you wish to do with your estate, with limited or without the cause for dispute.
Bell Lamb & Joynson
Bell Lamb & Joynson can help you with all Wills and probate services. We are expert Wills and Probate solicitors and have been helping those from all over the North West for 200 years.
The reason we have been running for as long as we have is that we are excellent at what we do. Dealing with Probate or the thought of death when creating a Will can be daunting which is why we take a personal and supportive service.
Get in touch with us at Bell Lamb & Joynson, we would love to help you. We can arrange an initial discussion to discuss your options and provide you with the advice that you need.
The loss of a loved one is always difficult, but easing the legal load off your shoulder and having a specialist there to go through things with you can help.
Contact us at Bell Lamb & Joynson today where a Wills and Probate specialist solicitor will be happy to help you.