No win no fee will contesting is an option for people who are considering challenging a will. However, there are a number of things that you should understand before entering into a no win no fee contract.

No Win No Fee Is Not Risk Free

Despite the marketing hype, no win no fee will contesting is not risk free. The reason is that legal costs must be paid, whether or not the claim is successful. In fact, some solicitors may choose not to take on a case because they feel that the chances of success are very low or that they will end up paying out a significant sum for the client even if the case is successfully won.

The most common way for solicitors to fund a contested will case is through a Damages Based Agreement (DBA). This means that the cost of the lawyer’s work, together with any success fee, are paid out of the estate and/or from the opponent’s costs if the case is won. The aim of this type of funding is to allow people who are unable to pay legal fees upfront to access legal services.

Some lawyers will offer a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement without any reference to a DBA and instead will simply charge their normal hourly rate. This is likely to be more expensive than working with a firm that will provide a fixed fee quotation up front.

When it comes to contested probate and disputed will cases, the best advice is to choose a Law Society accredited specialist, who has experience of handling these types of claims. They will be able to assess the merits of your case and provide you with an estimate of their professional charges for taking on the matter, as well as any disbursements that may be incurred.

A DBA will also normally cover the expenses of bringing the case to trial, as well as the fees for any expert witnesses who might need to be instructed. It will not, however, cover any expenses you might incur in the course of a mediation or arbitration.

It is important to check if you have any insurance that covers the costs of a contested probate or will dispute, or whether there are alternative funding options available. Some insurers will provide cover for these claims, and if you are struggling to find funding then there are charities which can help. It is also worth speaking to your solicitor about the funding options available as they are likely to be happy to clarify anything that you are unclear on. The vast majority of solicitors are also able to offer free consultations for this type of claim. This will allow you to get the best advice and the best chance of a successful claim.