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Charity and Legacy Disputes

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a significant rise in the need for charitable services. However, there is an increasing lack of resources to enable charities to meet this demand. As a result of this, charities have seen a surge in the number of charitable gifts being left in Wills.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for gifts left to charities in a Will to be disputed by family members. You may be a charity that is a beneficiary under a Will that is being challenged. Alternatively, you may be a beneficiary of an Estate that has been wrongfully, or not yet administrated, and you want to bring a claim against the estate of a deceased supporter of the charity.

No matter what your situation is, our experienced Contentious Probate team will help guide you through the options available to you and the grounds on which you could defend or challenge the validity of a Will. As a firm, we support and represent many local charities, and we understand that, whilst every charity is unique, they all have a common need for resources, support and funding. Many of our staff are also trustees of local charities, meaning that we understand the obligations and challenges that trustees in these settings have, and we can use this experience to offer guidance and support to charities and their trustees as well as expert legal advice and representation.

To find out more about how we can help you with inheritance, trust and Will disputes, call our 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 charity and legacy solicitors can help you

At Ramsdens, we provide a comprehensive range of services to help resolve any charity and legacy disputes you may encounter as smoothly as possible. Our team of compassionate, friendly solicitors offer support to charities and provide bespoke advice tailored to each unique situation. We are able to advise you in relation to:

  • Bringing or defending legacy disputes
  • Claims relating to the validity of Wills
  • Maladministration claims against personal representatives
  • Removal of executors and trustees
  • Breach of trust claims
  • Rectification claims of an erroneous will
  • Court of Protection claims relating to statutory Wills
  • The powers and obligations of trustees and their organisation

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.

Why choose us?

Our Contentious Probate solicitors are experienced in providing a professional and sensitive service, ensuring we always put your personal requirements and priorities first. We will work hard to minimise any stress and disruption caused to you, so that you can focus on the valuable services your charity provides.

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.


What is a charitable legacy?

A charitable legacy is a gift left to a charity in a person’s Will. This could be:

  • A sum of money
  • An item or property
  • A share of the Residue of Estate (what is left after other gifts have been given to loved ones)

You have two options when leaving a charitable gift. You can either name a specific charity or charities in your Will, or, alternatively, you can leave it up to the trustees of your Will to decide.

Are charitable donations free from inheritance tax?

Yes, any donations made to UK charities in a Will are free from inheritance tax. This means that, by leaving a charitable gift in your Will, other recipients can actually benefit in the long run. This is because the amount of inheritance tax paid by the rest of your estate (the sum of your assets) will be reduced.

How much does a charity legacy dispute cost?

As the circumstances of every case are different, the cost of each legacy dispute case will vary depending on many factors, such as the complexity of your case and whether you have to go to court.

Can legacy disputes settle out of court?

It is more cost-effective for both parties to try and reach an amicable resolution together before beginning court proceedings. Disputes of this nature can often be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution such as Mediation. This is something that one of our specialist solicitors can help you with. It's always best to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you wish to chat through your options with our experienced team, give us a call today.


With 12 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, email us at or submit your claim online and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible


The Legal 500, 2021

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