Estate, trust and will disputes

Our specialist team deals with all the difficult issues which arise in the complicated, sensitive field of disputed and contested estates, wills and trusts.

Trust and will disputes often involve a personal element and emotions can run high. We know how difficult these matters can be for clients and are here to help. Our huge experience enables us to offer a sympathetic approach to dealing with disputes in this specialist area.

We deal with all types of estate, trust and will disputes, whether you want to contest a will, remove an executor, protect an inheritance or anything else. While litigation is sometimes unavoidable, we always try to resolve matters quickly and as cost efficiently as possible.

Our lawyers

Our team are all dedicated experts in this complicated field, with most being full members of the industry's top professional body, ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists). 

Our experience

We have expertise acting for all sorts of clients – individual beneficiaries, trustees, executors, administrators and charities – either as claimant or defendant.  Our experience covers all sorts of claims relating to disputed wills or trusts, including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Undue influence allegations
  • Alleged breach of duty and personal liability of trustees
  • Proprietary estoppel
  • Removal and/or substitution of executors or trustees
  • Charity legacy disputes

Recent examples of our work include:

  • Acting in the significant Court of Appeal case of Burns v Burns, considering testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval in an elderly testator.
  • Successfully recovering a sizeable sum for a widow who was left with little from her late husband’s estate.
  • Advising in Kennedy v Kennedy, a landmark decision applying the newly stated law on equitable mistake.
  • Helping a major musical education charity protect its position as beneficiary in a substantial estate subject to an Inheritance Act claim.
  • Advising the executors of an extremely valuable estate involving the interpretation of a handwritten, home-made will.
  • Assisting a Cambridge college which is the main beneficiary of a multijurisdictional £3m estate being disputed by the deceased's partner.

Our clients

We act for a huge range of clients in the UK and internationally.  Most of our work is confidential but as well as acting for individuals, we represent:

  • A large number of charities
  • Educational establishments
  • Health bodies
  • Trust companies
  • Other professionals acting as executors or trustees

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