Contested Wills and Financial Provision

What is Contentious Probate?

Contentious probate refers to any dispute relating to the administration of a deceased person’s estate.

09 Jun 2023

Team name
Martyn Trenerry

Martyn Trenerry

It could involve a dispute over the interpretation of a Will, a dispute between executors and beneficiaries or about the value of assets.  Contested probate is not limited to contesting a Will and sometimes there is no Will – if the dispute involves an intestate estate.

When a person dies without a Will this is known as intestacy. There are fixed ‘rules of intestacy’ which dictate who gets what in this situation. However, they are inflexible, make no arrangement for unmarried partners or dependents or any verbal promises the person who has died may have made while they were alive, which are not taken into account.

This process can be difficult for families and can lead to many mixed feelings, but understanding when an estate can be contested can help answer many questions, and make a troubling time less confusing for all.

Disputes over the validity of a Will or how probate is being handled are common and can be very complex, especially where there are substantial assets involved. Conflict often also arises over decisions the deceased made before their death, as well as in relation to trusts and jointly owned properties.

Why do I need a solicitor?

In such cases, a solicitor can play a crucial role in representing their client’s interests and helping to resolve the dispute. This may involve advising on the legal options available to the client, such as contesting the Will, negotiating a settlement with other beneficiaries, or seeking a court order to protect their client’s interests.

Contentious probate disputes

Contentious probate disputes can happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • ‘Further provisions’ – this is common among spouses and children who feel they should have received more from the deceased’s Will, especially if they were financially dependent on them under legislation.
  • Issues with executors of the Will, such as a disagreement regarding the appointment or actions of one.
  • Lifetime gifts and promises.
  • Mistakes and disagreements, such as a dispute over the correct ownership of property or the value of an asset.

We can help you with a range of issues relating to there being no Will?

  • a partner who was not married to the deceased, who hasn’t been provided for
  • a child or another dependant who hasn’t been provided for
  • when a married partner who is now estranged has inherited – this can sometimes occur if someone dies unexpectedly
  • arguments over who should administer the estate.

M&P Commentary

Martyn Trenerry, a solicitor undertaking contentious probate, contested Wills and financial disputes, said:

“With the right legal advice and guidance, most contentious probate disputes can be resolved smoothly and effectively, often without the need for court proceedings. We have the necessary experience and expertise to guide you through the difficult process of contesting a Will or bringing a claim against the estate.”


Ranked highly in Romford and Brentwood for solicitor firms

The service I received from Allison was exceptional. Always highly professional and informative.
Mullis and Peake are very efficient, professional and friendly company to deal with. Excellent service throughout.
Excellent, swift service from Esther at Mullis & Peake. Showed clear expertise in her field & walked me through everything patiently & thoroughly.
Company and Commercial
I found the service provided was excellent from start to finish, with our requirements met in a timely manner throughout.
Staff very helpful and friendly. Trudi was easy to talk to and to understand the procedure.
Dispute resolution
We contacted Martyn to deal with a sensitive Will dispute and we can’t thank him enough for his commitment and hard work.
Residential Property
Very prompt. Experienced. Expert. Friendly.
Commercial Property
Excellent service and far quicker than previous negotiations using a different solicitor.
At all times I was kept informed about the progress of the case and everything was completed in a timely fashion.
Personal Injury
Martyn undertook and guided me through the lengthy process [of a personal injury case], and after much work, achieved a successful result.

Related News insights

Employment Advice, Employment Advice (For Business), Legal, Employment Disputes
Why employers need a reflective response to employee beliefs
Legal, Wills & Power of Attorney
Can an executor change a Will?
Movers & Shakers, Mullis & Peake
Saying Goodbye to Roger and Jenny
Commercial Property, Legal, Commercial Property Disputes
Amendments to the General Permitted Development Order