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Great expectations

Probate claims are all about costs, says Lloyd Junor, but do your clients really understand who pays them?

29 September 2013

 

"It's about nothing but costs now. We are always appearing, and disappearing, and swearing and interrogating, and filing, and cross-filing and arguing, and sealing, and motioning, and referring, and reporting, and revolving about the lord chancellor and/or his satellites, and equitably waltzing ourselves off to a dusty death about costs. That's the great question. All the rest, by some extraordinary means, has melted away."
Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Dickens had a point. Whatever may be said about the merits ?of a claim against a will's validity, the rights or wrongs, or the heartfelt views of the family, it all boils down to cost.

Unfortunately, there is still misunderstanding about how costs fall in a probate dispute and who pays. Briefly, there are some key points to remember:

  • The costs of a probate claim are not payable out of the estate. As

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