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Contested probate

Despite the most careful planning and preparation, disputes can arise regarding the validity of wills or trusts.  Sometimes this, combined with the complex nature of the probate process, gives rise to disputes about how assets are to be distributed, or who should benefit from particular parts of a deceased person’s estate.

These disputes may include:

  • Challenges to the validity of Wills, trusts or lifetime gifts,
  • Dissolution or administration of a trust
  • Ownership of property
  • Claims regarding inadequate (or no) provision in a will or due to intestacy (i.e. lack of a will)
  • Disputes based on allegations of negligence, fraud and forgery, undue influence or mental incapacity. 

Such issues can be emotionally fraught, especially when family relationships are involved.  Our specialist solicitors will work to resolve disputes as swiftly and amicably as possible.

Although our Private Client team may initially handle probate, our Disputes Resolution team will normally be involved in the event of a dispute.

We typically seek to resolve claims through sensible negotiation or mediation, resorting to litigation only as a last resort. By taking a smart and measured approach to resolving claims we minimise distress for our clients and also legal costs.

Although the majority of our clients in this field of work are individuals from all walks of life, we also act for charities who believe that they should receive money from an estate.

 

Examples of our work:

Contesting a claim made by a family member against the executors of an estate relating to a provision in the will for a proportion of the estate to be left to charity.  Our advice helped our clients to overcome the claim and ensure the smooth administration of the deceased’s estate.

Supporting the beneficiaries of a family will to claim their rightful inheritance.  We helped our clients to defend a claim against them brought by the deceased’s partner concerning a property that constituted part of the estate.  After an unsuccessful mediation, a settlement was reached that allowed our clients access to property that was rightfully theirs. 

Defending a claim by our client’s brother that our client had pressured his elderly mother to change her will and leave her home to our client only.  At the trial we called the solicitor (from another firm) who had prepared the will.  She told the court that she had met alone with the elderly lady, who the solicitor described as ‘formidable’, and the lady had predicted to her that her disinherited son would try to challenge the change in her will after her death.  The claim against our client was dismissed.

 

Related Services:

Wills Trusts Powers of Attorney  Inheritance Tax Planning

Wealth Preservation  Probate and administration of estates 

Older and Vulnerable Clients

Richard Horwood

Partner and Head of Private Client

Alastair Liddiard

Senior Solicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts, Probate and Powers of Attorney

Bernard Flanagan

Solicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts, Probate and Powers of Attorney

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Richard is very approachable, always willing to help and makes sure things are done in a timely manner. I would have no hesitations in recommending Richard and thoroughly enjoy working with him on mutual clients.
  • Managing Director, wealth management
  • About: Richard Horwood
I have introduced Richard to a number of clients and each time he has delivered a very high quality of advice, in a very personal and professional manner. He is very approachable, always willing to help and makes sure things are done in a timely manner. I would have no hesitations in recommending Richard and thoroughly enjoy working with him on mutual clients.
  • Managing Director, wealth management
  • About: Richard Horwood
Richard is extremely well organised and has been a pleasure to do business with. He has been extremely helpful and is clearly well experienced in his field. I would very much recommend Richard.
  • Solicitor, Bristol
  • About: Richard Horwood
Richard has provided legal work for my severely disabled brother – his attitude, service and integrity in the manner that he dealt with my brother was first class. I recommend Richard and Longmores 100%.
  • Coach, Hertfordshire
  • About: Richard Horwood
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