Disputes With Beneficiaries

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Disputes With Beneficiaries

Disputes among beneficiaries can create challenges during the execution of a Will, requiring the intervention of Will executors or personal representatives. When conflicts arise, especially those related to significant decisions like selling the deceased's property or uneven distribution of the estate, executors may need to seek advice from a contentious probate solicitor to find a suitable resolution.

What are disputes between beneficiaries?

Various types of disputes can occur between beneficiaries, such as disagreements over the sale of property, particularly if one beneficiary has been living in it. Issues may also arise if there's a perception of unequal distribution among beneficiaries, undervaluing assets, concealing information, dishonesty or delaying processes.

Another common challenge happens when beneficiaries are missing, complicating the administration of the estate. Uncooperative beneficiaries can further complicate matters, especially when it comes to obtaining their consent through a release, a legal document affirming their approval of the estate administration. 

How do you resolve an inheritance dispute?

If a disagreement between beneficiaries comes up, there are ways to resolve it. Mediation, where both sides and their lawyers try to reach an agreement, is a common and less expensive option than going to court. Going to court is a more costly route, where a judge decides the outcome, if an agreement can't be reached through mediation. 

It's essential to consider the financial implications, as the losing party often pays the legal costs of the winning party. Seeking help from a knowledgeable contentious probate solicitor is crucial in settling family inheritance disputes. It's best to do this early, regardless of whether you're making a claim or defending one.

The best way to ensure that there is little room for a Will to be disputed is by having it drafted by a qualified solicitor and making sure it is always kept up to date. This way, your intentions are clear and if any disputes do arise, everything is covered.

How can GloverPriest help?

Resolving disputes related to Wills and inheritance, especially after the passing of a loved one, can be both time-consuming, distressing and costly. Seeking expert legal advice early in the process is crucial, as it can facilitate the resolution of matters and potentially prevent the need for litigation and expensive court proceedings.

In terms of who is eligible to make an inheritance claim, only individuals falling within specific categories, such as spouses, partners, cohabitees, children, and dependants, are allowed to claim under the Inheritance Act.

If you find yourself entangled in a contentious probate dispute, whether as the executor of a disputed Will, a beneficiary, or someone excluded entirely, it is essential to seek experienced support, advice, and representation. We offer guidance on various aspects, including:

With extensive experience in all facets of Will and inheritance disputes, we can assess the merits of your claim, provide advice on funding options, and outline the associated risks.

Contact our Will dispute solicitors

At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent legal advice. If you would like further advice on beneficiary or Will dispute matters, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert contract solicitors today. Complete our enquiry form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when beneficiaries disagree?

Usually, if beneficiaries don’t agree, it may be down to concerns about how an executor is managing the estate according to the terms of the Will. The first port of call is to try and communicate with the executor and raise concerns calmly. If this proves unsuccessful, the beneficiary may, as a final option, explore the possibility of removing the executor from their role. It's important to note, though, that the court typically won't remove an executor solely due to animosity between them and a beneficiary. There usually needs to be a demonstration of the executor's failure in fulfilling their duties. 

If a beneficiary isn’t agreeing on valuations of assets or they refuse to cooperate, then it’s a good idea to get legal advice to find out the best next steps based on the situation. 


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Jonathan Peck

Head of Litigation

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Roxanne Speed


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