For a person who wishes to commence a will contest/challenge, there are 7 main steps to take up to a settlement at mediation, without going to court:
This advice and guidance is usually given to you, then and there on the phone. If you do not know when a death has been recorded, whether a probate has been issued, whether a will exists, or what is says, call us here at CWPL. We can often help find out for you, and our help is free if you decide not to proceed with us.
If we cannot help you, we will not charge you anything for our time, and the time spent by us will be entirely free.
If you ask us to be your solicitors, we will make some preliminary investigations and searches, and then make a Formal Assessment of your case, to confirm the strength of your claim. If we find that we cannot help you, you will not be charged a penny.
We then submit your claim to the Estate lawyers, by advising them that you are intending to commence a will contest/challenge. If the Estate offers you an acceptable amount to settle, your will contest/challenge can be settled there and then, without Court action. We would of course guide you when you are considering any offers.
We will only issue an application in the court if it is clear that the other side will not settle by negotiation.
With your assistance, we collect the supporting information we need for your ‘story’, which would be filed with the court as a Witness Statement. A Witness Statement is a written statement of your claim. The Estate/Defendant then files their Witness Statement in defence.
If we feel we can help you, we will hold an initial meeting at one of over 100 locations in the UK which is convenient to you so that we can get the information to start our work.
If we cannot meet in person, we will pre-arrange a conference on the telephone or via Skype.
The first half hour of this meeting is free, and you are under no obligation to proceed with us afterwards.
If you have a good claim for a will contest/challenge, we will usually offer you our No Win No Fee Plan which is set out in our Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under the CFA, we cannot charge you a fee unless the value of the remaining Settlement Monies paid/provided to you by the estate/defendant are sufficient to cover the fees we propose to charge.
We would then arrange a mediation, which is an informal meeting where the parties and their lawyers try to settle the case. We will attend the mediation with you. The majority of mediations usually result in a settlement, but if you do not get an offer that is acceptable to you, you do not need to agree to settle. If there was a settlement, we would only charge our fees if the value of the Settlement Monies exceeded the amount of our account.
If we find that we cannot help you, you will not be charged a penny.Makea claim
In the unlikely event that your will contest/challenge isn’t settled at mediation, we would work to develop the best case for you, ready for the court hearing. Usually you will never need to set foot in court, as the majority of our cases still settle before the day of the hearing, on terms that are acceptable to our customers.
To save unnecessary fees, we only prepare for the trial if we find that the claim did not settle at mediation.