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Inheritance, Trust and Wills Disputes

Making a will is an essential step in securing future financial stability for your family, but sometimes inheritance, trust and wills disputes can arise that can cause immense stress for your loved ones. At Ramsdens Solicitors, our specialist contentious probate team are here to help you deal with and limit the impact of these damaging disputes.

Our specialist lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with all types of inheritance, trust and will disputes, including claims made against executors, administrators and trustees, disputes over the validity of a will, or claims over how a trust is being managed. We have years of experience of representing all parties in these types of disputes, whether you are bringing a claim or defending a claim against you or the estate.

We understand how difficult and stressful it can be to have to deal with a will or inheritance dispute at a time when the family may be grieving, which is why we are committed to making the process as smooth as possible. We will help you every step of the way, explaining the law in a clear and concise way, to help you make the right choices and move forwards positively.

To find out more about how we can help you with inheritance, trust and will disputes, call the contentious probate solicitors at Ramsdens on 01484 821 500, or fill out our online enquiry form to request a call back at a time that is convenient for you.

How our contentious probate solicitors can help you

At Ramsdens, we provide a comprehensive range of contentious probate services to help resolve inheritance, trust and wills disputes as smoothly as possible. We act on behalf of executors, trustees, administrators, beneficiaries and dependents of the deceased, dealing with all aspects of contentious probate, including:

We will advise and represent you throughout the entire process from start to finish, all the way to a contested trial if this is required. We will also advise you and keep you updated about the costs involved, and on the practical alternatives to litigation that may be available to you as a means of resolving the dispute, including mediation.

Our team is well aware that cases involving inheritance disputes are highly sensitive, especially when family members and loved ones are involved. As such, our focus will always be on resolving the matter in the best way for you, and we appreciate that no two cases are the same.

Our approach is tailored to meet our clients’ needs in any given situation and we are able to assist with resolving matters as amicably and cost-effectively as possible, but with the capability and experience to also represent our clients robustly in any litigation where required.

Our funding options and legal fees

At Ramsdens, we offer a range of funding options depending on the circumstances of each case, including:

  • Pay-as-you-go arrangements, whereby you pay on an interim basis as and when costs are incurred
  • Conditional fee agreements, more commonly known as CFAs or no win no fee agreements
  • Deferred fee agreements, whereby payment of legal fees can be deferred until a later stage in the case or until conclusion
  • Fixed fee agreements, whereby you pay a fixed and pre-arranged amount on account of different stages of work on your case
  • Monthly payment plans, whereby you pay an agreed amount per month towards your overall costs

We can also provide advice on different products and options that may be available to cover the cost of your claim.

Why choose us?

Whether you are contesting a will, bringing a claim against an estate or defending a claim against the estate, Ramsdens will provide a professional and sensitive service for you, aligning our years of legal expertise with a keen focus on your personal needs and priorities.

We work closely with our highly-experienced wills and probate team to ensure that problems are identified early, so our contentious probate solicitors can resolve them swiftly. This ensures that we can preserve family assets and minimise the stress and disruption these cases can cause.

Ramsdens Solicitors has been highly recommended by the 2021 edition of the prestigious Legal 500, and our expert team are also members of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP). This underlines our proven experience and industry-leading expertise in this area.

We offer a free no obligation initial consultation of up to 30 minutes with one of our expert lawyers, allowing us to discuss your circumstances and potential options in a no-obligation setting, as well as advising you of the funding options available and the next steps should you decide to take your case forward with us.

Case Studies

Our Contentious Probate team help deal with all types of inheritance, trust and will disputes, including claims made against executors, administrators and trustees, disputes over the validity of a will, or claims over how a trust is being managed.

Read how our team have helped our clients with Inheritance, Trust and Wills Disputes here.

FAQs

WHAT IS CONTENTIOUS PROBATE?

Making a will is the best way to ensure that your money, property and personal belongings are distributed as you wish after your death. However, disputes can arise over inheritance or generally over matters relating to the administration and distribution of the estate- these types of disputes are commonly known as contentious probate or probate disputes, and can arise in the following scenarios:

  • When there is disagreement over how the estate should be divided when the deceased did not leave a will
  • When people believe they have been wrongly excluded from the will and wish to claim a share of the estate
  • When an already-named beneficiary believes they should receive a larger share of the estate than that which has been left for them
  • When there is disagreement over the value of estate assets or the overall value of the estate
  • When there are concerns that a will is invalid
  • When there are concerns about the suitability of executors or trustees
  • When there are concerns that an administrator or executor is interfering in the estate, or is not dealing with the estate administration properly
  • When there is disagreement over the interpretation of the will - ie, what does the will actually say?

Inheritance, trust and wills disputes of this nature can often be highly fraught and complex, which is why it is advisable to seek professional legal advice on the best way to resolve them. Some types of disputes are also subject to certain limitation periods within which action must be taken, and so it is vital that legal advice is sought at the earliest opportunity.

WHEN CAN A WILL BE CONTESTED?

There are a number of reasons why the validity of a will may be challenged, including:

  • The creator of the will did not have the mental capacity to make a valid will
  • The will was written under duress, coercion or manipulation
  • The will is believed to be forged or created under false pretences
  • The document was not drafted and signed in accordance with the law
  • The testator did not know or approve the contents of the will, or did not intend for the document in question to be used as a will
  • Disagreements arise over the intentions and interpretation of the will
  • A disappointed beneficiary believes the will does not make any or any reasonable financial provision for them

Before a contentious probate claim can be brought, you should speak to a solicitor who specialises in these types of disputes to ensure that you fully understand the strength or otherwise of your case, and what options and remedies might be available to you.

WHAT IS A CAVEAT?

If you suspect that a will is invalid, then you can make use of a probate caveat, a legal mechanism used to temporarily pause an application for probate. Because probate must be granted before the estate of the deceased can be distributed, pausing the application will mean that the estate cannot be administered or distributed while the caveat is in place.

In these circumstances, a probate caveat must be registered at the probate registry as soon as possible, to ensure that the process of executing the will does not commence until the dispute is resolved. Once granted, the caveat remains in force for six months, but this can be extended upon expiry if necessary.

Again, it is important to seek legal advice before registering a caveat, as it is not intended to be used as a means to delay the administration unnecessarily and it will not be appropriate in all cases.

WILL MY CONTENTIOUS PROBATE CLAIM GO TO COURT?

Court proceedings are available as a final means of resolving a legal dispute over a will, trust or estate, allowing those involved to pursue or defend a claim and obtain a legally binding decision in a judgement that will be imposed on all parties.

However, this process can be time-consuming, expensive and stressful, which is why your legal team will usually try to explore all other available options - including mediation and negotiation, commonly known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) - to find a way to resolve the matter in a more cost-effective and amicable way, so that going to court is seen as a last resort. In our experience, the majority of these cases settle out of court, and this is something the courts also encourage.

Contact us

With 14 offices throughout Yorkshire, we are able to see clients in their own locality wherever in the county you are based. We also offer remote meetings through video calls on Zoom and Microsoft Teams for clients who are unable to travel to any of our offices, or for those of our clients who simply prefer this method of contact.


Whatever your requirements and wherever in the country you live, our contentious probate team is here to assist. Call us for free on 01484 821 500, or submit your claim online and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible

I was introduced to Ramsdens when my solicitor, Nazia Nawaz, joined them from a different firm and I was allowed to keep with her for continuity. Nazia has been the best solicitor I have ever met and I have had trouble finding one to help me with my case. She is very articulate verbally and written, and is quick to understand difficult situations.

The Legal 500, 2022

Jodie Wielgus and Nazia Nawaz were at the opposite end of the spectrum to the previous firm. They worked seamlessly together. They were professional and courteous at all times. I had several phone calls with them both and they always reassured me that things were fine and would turn out ok. Which they ultimately did. I cannot praise Jodie and Nazia highly enough. My life for a year was a total rollercoaster but they brought me in to safety. The final price was extremely reasonable considering the amount of time and indeed effort they put into my case.

The Legal 500, 2022

Nazia Nawaz has experience and expertise in her field. A superb litigator and adviser."

The Legal 500, 2022

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