The cost of a Will Dispute
When considering challenging a Will or bringing a claim in connection with an Estate, one of the main concerns raised by client is the costs of bringing a Will claim and how these can be funded.
In order to run a Will dispute all the way to trial, it is the case that significant costs will be incurred and these may run to tens of thousands of pounds.
However, the initial costs of investigating a Will claim will often be very low and can be covered by a fixed fee.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that only a small proportion of Will disputes make it to trial and my experience is that the majority of valid claims can be and are settled.
The Court expects parties involved in Will disputes, other Will claims or claims concerning Estates, such as claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, to consider at an early stage reaching a settlement through, for example attending a mediation.
If a settlement can be reached, then costs will be kept to a minimum. Settlement is also beneficial where the parties disputing the Will are part of the same family.
In addition, where cases cannot be settled, there are other means of funding these claims to trial. These include “no win, no fee” agreements, often supported by insurance policies, and deferred payment agreements.
Part of my job is to discuss all these options with my clients to find the best means to enable them to pursue their claim.