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Estate disputes can be very emotional and stressful.
As well as dealing with a loved one’s loss, it is difficult to be caught up in an estate dispute.
Baldock Stacy & Niven have a highly experienced team that can deal with estate disputes, whether you are contesting a Will, protecting an inheritance or having issues with executors, beneficiaries or attorneys.
Let BS&N help — we will give a clear assessment of your situation and the strength of your position, options for resolving and likely outcomes. Negotiation and mediation can sometimes resolve the matter quickly but if not, we will rigorously represent your interest in court.
Have you been left out of a will or treated unfairly?
You may be able to make a claim to receive a share in an estate. BS&N can quickly assess whether you have a claim and we will not charge a fee for the initial consultation unless you make a successful claim.
Sometimes disputes relate to whether a will is valid or not. Often the “do-it-yourself” type of wills can fall into this category.
A will may be deemed invalid if:
- It was not the last will made by the deceased
- There is doubt about the mental capacity of the person making the will or they did not understand it
- Undue influence was applied to the person making the will
- The will is unsigned or appears to be fraudulent in some way
If a will is judged as being invalid it can be “set aside” as if it never existed. If there is an existing prior valid will, it will then become the basis on which the estate will be distributed. If there is no prior valid will, the estate will be distributed to the family of the deceased under Intestancy rules.
If you, as a beneficiary or an executor, believe there is an anomaly in a will contact Baldock Stacy & Niven for an expert opinion.
Sometimes a will is drawn badly, or something has been omitted or fails to make any or adequate provision for an eligible person. Other times an executor or administrator may not have discharged their duties correctly or act in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Sometimes a dispute can be around the beneficiaries not agreeing with the executor or an administrator’s decision.
Baldock Stacy & Niven can assist beneficiaries, executors and administrators in any type of estate or will dispute. It may be as simple as explaining rights and obligations, or it may be a situation that need robust negotiation and a court decision — BS&N have the knowledge and expertise to find a solution and resolve the dispute.
Representatives of an estate have legal duties of confidence or trust (fiduciary duties) to act in accordance with the deceased person’s wishes and in the best interest of the beneficiaries and estate. Most estate representatives act properly, however that is not always the case.
Proper behaviour can be generally categorised by:
- Care – the estate must be cared for in a manner that will benefit all parties of the estate.
- Impartial – treat all beneficiaries equally, and not favour any beneficiary over another, even when they themselves are a beneficiary.
- Loyal – make fair decisions and act solely in the interest of the beneficiaries and the estate.
Baldock Stacy & Niven can help identify and seek compensation on behalf of an estate or beneficiary who has incurred loss or been negatively impacted by a breach of duty.