Contentious trust and probate

Our specialist team deals with all the difficult issues which arise in the complicated, sensitive field of contentious trust and probate. 

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

We deal with all types of contentious trust and will disputes. While litigation is sometimes unavoidable, we always try to resolve matters quickly and as cost efficiently as possible.

Our lawyers

Our team are all specialist experts in this complicated field, with most being full members of the industry's professional body, ACTAPS. 

Our experience

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

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Lack of testamentary capacity cases
  • Undue influence allegations
  • Issues involving 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 with failing memory.
  • Advising in Kennedy v Kennedy, a landmark trust law decision applying the newly stated law on equitable mistake. 
  • Representing a major musical education charity in protecting 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.
  • Acting for a Cambridge college which is the main beneficiary of a multijurisdictional £3million estate which is 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

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