Frequently Asked Questions

You will no doubt have some questions on Will Disputes. Here are the most commonly asked questions.
Contact us if you have any further questions.

What is the effect of a "no contest" clause?

Sometimes people insert a clause in their Will, that attempts to penalise anyone who claims an Increased Inheritance, or who contests or challenges the Will in any way. The "penalty" usually aims to work by "disinheriting" the person who disputes the Will.

These sorts of clauses may not be enforced by the court and so you should not be put off making such a claim, just because this type of clause is found in the Will.

How much can I be paid from the estate?

There is no hard and fast rule about the size, or the amount, that a court may order the Estate to pay to you. It all depends upon factors such as:

We can usually give you a preliminary indication of the chances of success in our Initial Review: if you do not proceed after that, the Review is free. Call us now.

What are the steps in making a Will Dispute?

There are 7 main steps: most cases settle after step 6:

Initial Review

Firstly, we would conduct our Initial Review. For this, we would prearrange some times for you to chat with our Principal or Edward Skilton, on the phone or via Skype. This Initial Review is without obligation to you, and after the Review we can usually tell you whether we can help you.

Conference

After you have asked us to act as your lawyers, if we believe we can help you, then we will pre-arrange a time to hold a conference on the telephone, so that we can get the information to start our work.

Request a call back.

Preliminary negotiations

If we can help you, we would then contact the Estate lawyers in England and submit your claim. If the Estate is prepared to offer you a reasonable amount, then we would guide you on this, and settle your claim, there and then, without Court action.

Claim if necessary

If the Estate will not make a satisfactory offer, and if we still believe that you have a good case, we will draft your statements and arrange for our London Agents to file the claim. A claim must be made within 6 months of Probate or Letters of Administration being granted by the Court, although it may be possible to extend the date.

We then draft all the documentary material we need to establish your entitlement and have the court documents finalised, and then filed in the courts through our London Agents, who will then attend to the court procedures.

Mediation

In about 6 to 12 months, a "Mediation" is usually held. This is where the parties and their lawyers will meet to try to settle the case. The majority of cases settle at the Mediation stage, and so most cases do not go on to a court hearing. If you are successful you will receive any settlement amount after the mediation.

Trial

In the unlikely event that your claim did not settle at mediation, the case would be listed for trial, and you would need to plan to come to the hearing in England

Make a claim.

Do I need to go to court?

You only need to go to court if your claim is not settled at any Mediation. As we have said, most cases seem to settle without a court hearing.

If the case did go to court, you would need to be prepared to go to England to give evidence at any Court hearing, and you would need to pay your own travel expenses, but we would add all your travel expenses to the claim.

However, in our experience, a court hearing is most unlikely, so do not be deterred by the prospect of having to travel to England.

At a Mediation, must I stand up and speak?

If you decided not to attend the mediation, it is the responsibility of us, or our London Agents, to do all the speaking on your behalf.

If you did attend the mediation, you would be represented by your lawyers, and you would not be required to speak. Usually all of the discussion is between the lawyers, so you will not need to speak to the executor or to any of the beneficiaries. Find out if you're eligible.

I have not seen my mother in many years. Can I make a claim?

This will not bar you from making a claim, as long as you can establish that your mother had an obligation to provide for you.

I have lived overseas for 20 years, can I claim?

The fact that you have been away for years does not prevent you from making a claim.

In order to qualify you should be able to show that you have maintained contact with the deceased in a supporting way - this support can be emotional or financial or both.

If you have lost contact because you were excluded from the family, this should have no effect on your claim.

If you have prospered compared to your family "back home", this may reduce the amount you may otherwise get, but this would not normally disentitle you. We can advise you on this.

How do I make a Claim?

Click the "Make a Claim" button to get things rolling, or call Johansson Solicitors to discuss your claim. We would be pleased to help you establish whether or not you have a claim, without any obligation.

Check with Johansson Solicitors to confirm that the case is to be brought in England and Wales, whether you are eligible, and what time limits apply.

Do not delay, as you could lose your rights entirely. Make a claim.

Next: Case Studies

Top