Disputes about the validity of wills and trusts, and the distribution of deceased persons’ estates, are increasing.
Hill Dickinson acts for executors, administrators, beneficiaries and dependants, dealing with all aspects of contentious probate matters including:
- Obtaining information and accounts from executors and administrators
- Dealing with challenges to the appointment of executors
- Addressing issues regarding the validity of wills
- Bringing or defending Inheritance Act claims
We are used to dealing sensitively with family disputes. Wherever possible, we seek to achieve an early, cost-effective resolution for our clients through the use of pre-action protocols, deeds of variation and mediation. When that does not prove possible, clients benefit from our significant litigation experience.
Some of the cases in which we have recently been involved include:
- Acting for a family executor/beneficiary in separate claims challenging distribution under a will. We successfully compromised one claim by correspondence and defeated a further claim after a four-day trial. The claimant had challenged the validity of the will, alleging that the deceased had made binding lifetime promises regarding inheritance which were not provided for in the document.
- Successfully acting for the children of a deceased woman, defeating a claim by her partner after a five-day trial. This included liaison with Spanish lawyers over the deceased’s Spanish property, where possession was obtained after disputed proceedings.
- Acting for the second family of a deceased foreign national with property in England. This involved dealing with issue relating to the entitlement of parties to a polygamous marriage. We secured an undertaking to account from the solicitors acting for the executors of the first family of the deceased.
- Obtaining probate based on a photocopy will in the face of opposition from an adult child of the deceased. We obtained an order for the possession of the deceased’s property and defeated claims brought under the Inheritance Act for failure to honour lifetime promises. We also secured the dismissal of the appeal in the Court of Appeal.
- Advising next of kin in proceedings to determine the validity of a will by a testator with a history of mental breakdowns, purporting to leave his estate to a non-legal entity.
- Acting for the executor of a deceased
professional dealing with a number of contractual claims against
the estate. This included obtaining a court order confirming the
client’s entitlement to costs for contested