The death of a family member or partner is a challenging time for those left behind, and contesting a Will is an additional difficulty that no one wants to face. Problems can arise if the Will was poorly drafted, if the family already had underlying divisions, or if there have been problems during the administration of the estate.In cases where a party wishes to challenge a will, the beneficiaries and/or executors may seek to take the advice of an independent solicitor in order to secure an equitable solution.
We are regularly asked to advise in such cases and we provide specialist advice to executors, potential claimants and beneficiaries with the aim of ensuring that any challenge to a Will can be resolved quickly and fairly through negotiation.
Contesting a Will in Court
Contesting a Will in Scotland raises certain issues regarding entitlement that are specific to Scots Law. Even where a Will has been carefully prepared and the estate has been professionally administered certain claims against the estate can be made. If a child, spouse or civil partner is unhappy with the terms of a Will then, in Scotland, they can claim their Legal Rights which are designed to protect individual family members against disinheritance. They are an automatic entitlement and a legal rights claim is assessed on the value of the deceased's moveable property only (such as bank accounts, personal possessions and shares but not the house). At Turcan Connell, we regularly advise clients on their legal rights entitlements and have extensive experience of resolving Will disputes in Scotland.
Challenging a Will in Cohabitation Cases
Each circumstance is unique and Turcan Connell bring years of experience to each case. For example, since 2006, cohabitants have also been able to make a claim on the death of their partner where the partner did not leave a Will. There are very clear and strict rules regarding the claim and, in particular, it must be made within six months of the death so early action must be taken.
For more information on writing a comprehensive Will, click here.