Will Disputes & Contentious Probate

FSP's highly regarded Will Disputes and Contentious Probate team represents a wealth and depth of experience in all areas of disputed inheritance and trusts.

Overview

We have extensive experience of all aspects of disputes concerning estates and trusts. We can advise you in connection with Challenges to Wills, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, proprietary estoppel claims and claims involving beneficial interest/constructive trusts and claims involving mutual wills.

We advise in relation to all types of problems with estate/trust administration including the removal and replacement of executors and trustees and claims against trustees and fiduciaries for breach of trust and claims for rectification and construction of wills.

We deal with contested Court of Protection work. We also act in claims against professionals arising out of the negligent preparation of wills and maladministration of estates.

All our team members have extensive experience of all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, but in particular resolving disputes for clients by mediation.

Featured experience

Trusts

Acting for beneficiaries in a dispute with a major bank concerning a disputed trustee appointment in a family settlement trust.

Labrouche v Frey (2016): Acting for trustees of an overseas foundation involved in High Court litigation in London (together with parallel proceedings overseas)

Advising the beneficiaries of a Channel Islands family trust on a potential multi-million pound claim against professional trustees for mismanagement of a portfolio of investments.

Challenges to Wills

Advising a family in connection with a complex want of knowledge and approval undue influence case involving inclusion of a professional carer in a will of a very elderly testator a month before death.

Acting for a client in an undue influence claim involving fraudulent calumny in a high value estate.

Acting for an 85-year-old woman in a case in which her step-children challenged the ability of her husband (their father) to make a cash gift to her prior to his death at a time when he was suffering from advanced dementia. The case was satisfactorily settled in favour of the widow.

Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Acting in a case in which a husband changed his will cutting his wife out of his estate and leaving all of his wealth to a charity. We negotiated a settlement which meant that the charity received a substantial legacy pursuant to the husband’s wishes but that also ensured that the wife was adequately provided for.

Acting for a former spouse of a deceased who was still receiving maintenance payments at the date of death, successfully capitalised into an acceptable settlement, having notified a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Acting for a widow where heavily mortgaged property was held in her husband’s sole name and fell into a life interest trust leaving inadequate provision for her and negotiating a claim whereby her income and housing needs were met.

Acting for an adult child of a deceased post the Ilott v Blue Cross Supreme Court decision: securing a significant settlement of his cl.

Court of Protection Disputes

Acting for a former Court of Protection Deputy in a dispute with beneficiaries regarding the application of Schedule 2 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 whereby the proceeds of sale of real property were protected from ademption where the property was sold by the deputy and a partial distribution of the estate based on ademption had already been made.

Bringing Court of Protection proceedings, which were vigorously contested, to trial in which the Court of Protection were being asked to appoint a professional deputy to manage the property and affairs of a severely mentally-impaired man. Following trial we were successful in securing the appointment of a professional deputy so that the children of the mentally-impaired man could now bene fit from his assets and income in a way that he would have wished, had he been able to make decisions for himself.

Rectification, Construction and Executor disputes

Acting on a rectification claim against the executors of an estate involving a portfolio of residential properties.

Acting for an executor successfully defending an attempt to remove him in the context of a family dispute.

Advising beneficiaries regarding removal of an executor and trustee who had failed to administer the estate and made distributions to herself.

"provides very good specialist advice in contentious probate."