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Trust & Probate Disputes

Our trusts and probate disputes team acts for families, settlors, trustees, beneficiaries, other lawyers and intermediaries concerned with substantial trust and estate disputes in the UK or with international elements.

Team members include members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators and a qualified and experienced mediator; others are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Our services include:

  • bringing and defending contentious probate claims and challenges to the validity of Wills, for example where it is alleged that the deceased did not have capacity at the time of making their Will, or did not understand or approve the content of the Will or even where the Will is a forgery
  • asset tracing and recovery
  • breach of trust disputes, for example where the trustees fail to distribute trust property to the right persons or do not have trust accounts prepared
  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims - these are claims where the terms of the deceased's Will or the rules of intestacy fail to make reasonable financial provision for an individual, for example a surviving spouse, civil partner or child. There are a range of potential claimants and we can advise you whether you are able to bring a claim
  • removal of Executors or Trustees
  • dealing with disagreements because the Will or trust documentation is unclear
  • acting as court appointed independent personal representative in disputed estates where a neutral administrator is required

Recent experience advising:

  • the Executors of an Estate of a prominent and wealthy artist faced with a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and advising them as to their role in the proceedings, particularly in view of the complex management issues of the Estate which comprised of art work in excess of £2 million
  • disappointed beneficiaries under a Will which failed to provide for them and successfully achieving a settlement of their claim that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity and did not approve the content of his Will
  • the administrator of a Jersey Will on a claim on behalf of the Estate against the Trustees of a Guernsey Trust, concerning a valuable shareholding and a multi-million pound UK property investment company. This included issuing proceedings in the Royal Courts of Jersey to recover the shares for the Estate
  • the defendant in a claim where the validity of a UK Will was challenged on the grounds of undue influence and testamentary capacity. The validity of the UK Will affects our client’s entitlement to substantial property in Israel under an Israeli Will. The case involved detailed cross communication and assistance with Israeli lawyers
  • disappointed beneficiaries under a Will where the Will was defective and unclear and achieving a settlement on their behalf
  • on the estate of a major literary figure who had made a 'home made' Will purporting to leave his assets in trust for his widow to the disadvantage of his children; dealing with the consequent dispute between beneficiaries and complex issues of trust law

Get in touch

Emily Mailer

Emily Mailer : Partner

  • ‘Very professional yet distinctly personable service’.

    Legal 500 UK

  • The team has ‘a significant presence in the area'.

    Legal 500 UK 2014