Probate and Trust

Our litigation department specialises in trusts and probate disputes, acting for beneficiaries, disappointed beneficiaries, trustees, settlors and other lawyers concerning complex trust, wills and probate disputes both in the UK and other jurisdictions.

Team members include members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

Our services include:

  • Bringing and defending claims Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – where a Will fails to make reasonable financial provision for an individual, for example a surviving spouse, civil partner or child.
  • Bringing and defending challenges to the validity of Wills, including:
    • 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
    • where the Will alleged a forgery.
  • Breach of trust disputes, including breach of trustee duties.
  • Removal of an executor or trustee.
  • Disputes in relation to charitable legacies.

When a trust is established, trustees are appointed to manage the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. Trustees are often appointed by way of Deed or some other document which created the trust. Every trust must have at least one trustee.

 

It is common practice for people to leave sizable parts of their estate to charities. However, this may aggrieve certain other beneficiaries who feel they have missed out on their entitlement, or query the connection between the testator and the chosen charity.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 provides the right to certain classes of people to challenge a will or intestacy rules where reasonable financial provision has not be made for them.

If wills are not properly executed, an estate may not be properly administered. This will lead to the testator’s wishes not being carried out and beneficiaries missing out of their entitlement.

An executor is essentially responsible for the administration of the deceased’s estate and is responsible for dealing with the estate’s assets. In the event that mistakes are made and loss suffered by the estate, the executor could be held to be personally liable.