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Contentious Probate Case Studies

Ramsdens 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.

Claim Under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

The Estate of L Deceased

We acted for the long term partner of the deceased who died suddenly in a motor accident. He had drafted a will leaving everything to our client but had not managed to sign it in time before his fatal accident. As there was no will and our client was not married to the deceased she was not entitled to inherit from his estate under the intestacy rules. The entire estate therefore passed to deceased’s mother. We brought a claim for financial provision from the estate and a beneficial interest in property and business assets. The case settled in our client’s favour after extensive communications and the commencement of court proceedings.The settlement provided that our client would receive most of the estate assets including the business and the property and a small lump sum payment was made by the estate to the deceased’s mother.

Contesting a Will on Grounds of Undue Influence

The Estate of G Deceased

We acted for the disappointed beneficiaries under an old will made by the deceased many years ago which left the residuary estate to them. Shortly after the deceased died, the deceased’s carer produced a new will which left the bulk of the estate to the carer and nothing to our clients. The deceased was an elderly widow with various medical conditions and no family or close friends nearby. She was therefore vulnerable and entirely dependent on her carers. We were instructed to challenge the validity of the will on grounds that the deceased has been unduly influenced and coerced by the carer to make the new will. The case ultimately settled at a mediation and it was agreed that the old will would be submitted for probate and that the estate would be distributed as per the old will but our clients agreed to pay a small lump sum to the carer to avoid the time, expense and inconvenience of going to trial. In summary, our clients successfully challenged the new will and received a substantial inheritance.

Contesting Will on Grounds of lack of due execution

The Estate of D Deceased

We acted for the long term partner of the deceased. Our client and the deceased had one child together. Following the sudden death of the deceased, a will was produced by his family which excluded our client and child completely. We successfully challenged the validity of the will and managed to prove that it failed to comply with the formalities of section 9 of the Wills Act in that it had not been properly witnessed. There was no previous will and so his estate was distributed in accordance with the rules of Intestacy meaning that his child inherited the entirety of his estate.

Contentious Court of Protection

We acted for the Court appointed Deputy of the patient (M) in relation to his deceased father’s estate. M had been in a care home for many years. In his will, the Deceased had left the residue of his estate to the charity which managed and operated the care home that M was in “for the benefit of the care home”. He had made the gift to the Charity on the understanding that his son would be looked after for life by that care home. Unfortunately the care home closed down and M was moved elsewhere which meant that the gifted estate monies to the Charity could no longer be used for the care home as intended and M was no longer getting any benefit from the gifted estate monies. We claimed that the gift to the Charity was in fact intended for the benefit of the deceased’s son and therefore that the gifted monies were held on trust for M. In the alternative we claimed that as the care home has shut down, the gift to the charity fails and meaning that M was entitled to the monies under the intestacy rules. Following communications with the charity, it agreed to make (an ex-gratia) payment by way of reimbursement to M.

Contentious Court of Protection

We acted for professional attorneys of a patient, G under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA ). The professional attorney had been appointed by G after G’s former attorney was removed due to financial abuse and misappropriation of funds from G.We brought a financial abuse claim against the former attorney, who admitted to spending G’s money for his own personal benefit. In effort to retrieve them is appropriated funds we intimated an injunction application against the former attorney who was in the process of selling his property, to prevent the proceeds of sale from being dissipated. After exchange of lengthy communications, a settlement was reached whereby the former attorney agreed to transfer the entire net proceeds of sale of his property to G by way of reimbursement to her for the misappropriated funds.

Inheritance Act Claim

The Estate of C Deceased

We acted for the spouse of the Deceased. Our client had been married to the Deceased for around 13 years. Both had children from previous relationships. Shortly after the Deceased died, the Deceased’s children produced a will which provided an income for life from the deceased’s assets, mostly savings, to our client. The will left some small legacies to others but the residue of the estate was left to the Deceased’s two children. We brought a claim for financial provision from the estate on grounds that the will did not provide sufficiently for our client. A claim was issued at court but we were able to reach a settlement whereby our client received a lump sum payment from the estate equating to around three quarters of the net value of the estate. This enabled our client’s future needs to be met and also enabled her to achieve finality.


CONTACT US

Whatever your requirements and wherever in the country you live, our contentious probate team is here to assist.

To find out if you can make a claim, call us on 0800 804 450. Alternatively, fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time that is suitable for you.

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