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I am a Partner in the Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team, specialising in disputes involving complex trusts and challenges to wills. These disputes frequently arise from a breakdown in the relationship between executors/trustees and beneficiaries; or breach of duties by executors and trustees. A large part of my practice also includes bringing and defending professional negligence claims against advisors, including those arising from poorly drafted wills and trusts, and failures to give proper tax or investment advice. I always focus on a client’s objectives before designing a strategy to best achieve them at the minimum cost. I will always consider alternatives to court proceedings, and as an accredited mediator, understand the best way to utilise mediation.
"Gavin Faber is ‘very commercial and practical’... One client rates Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham team as ‘one of the best in the region’, and another singles out Gavin Faber as ‘an extremely safe pair of hands on the helm’." - Legal 500, 2017
"Irwin Mitchell’s team handled a high-profile matter for the family of a man who died while abroad, which led to a complex case involving businesses and assets in three jurisdictions. Gavin Faber leads the practice. – Legal 500, 2016
"One of the best litigators in the Black Country" – Legal 500 2013
"First rate" – Legal 500 2012
I have always been a strong character with firm views, willing to stand up for what I believe in. As a lawyer, I can use these attributes for the benefit of others.
The varied nature of the work and the satisfaction that comes from achieving a great result for clients, particularly for those that are vulnerable and most in need of support.
Being surrounded by the very best quality lawyers who are all experts in their fields. Although we are a very large national firm, there is a real sense of integration amongst the offices and an absolute commitment by everyone to achieve the firm's primary goal of delivering the best service to all clients.
I am a keen sportsman and particularly enjoy rugby, football and cricket, although increasingly as a spectator. I also go horse racing as often as I can. I have a passion for wine and fine dining. I have young daughters and find myself watching regular dance performances and musicals.
I am also a Governor, Trustee and Member of Hallfield School Trust.
“The law in England is clear – a corpse isn’t legal property and possession of a body only extends to arranging the burial. This right lies with the executor in the first instance. If the deceased dies intestate there is a strict order of priority, starting with spouse, followed by any children and then parents and siblings. However, the court can interfere with this and order alternative arrangements.
“This case highlights the complexity of the law and how vulnerable it is to disputes. The executors of Mr Morigi’s estate had a legal right to proceed with arranging the funeral arrangements, and should ultimately have the final say; however, the court was willing to grant Mr Morigi’s daughter and grandchildren an injunction preventing the burial going ahead.”
“We see many cases like this where Wills are contested by family members. What may have been a tight family unit beforehand can become divided, sometimes irreparably, as a result of the dispute. In trying to cut a spouse out of a Will, or leaving them little, may leave them with little alternative but to bring a claim against other family members.
“Contesting a Will is not only emotionally draining with the risks of family tension, but it is also a costly and very time consuming process. I would advise that anyone considering omitting a spouse, or close family member from their Will, should consider whether that could ultimately lead to a dispute and court proceedings.”
“This case is another high-profile example of the difficulties that can emerge if clear instructions regarding how an estate should be handled are not in place.
“However, it is important to remember that while cases involving vast sums of money often hit the headlines, these issues can affect people from across society. We act in many cases where people from all walks of life are faced with similar issues in trying to access what they are entitled to.
“Anyone with concerns regarding such issues – whether it is financial support or property that was promised to them – should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to consider their options.
“In addition, we would urge that this type of case serves as an important reminder that people should put a comprehensive will in place which outlines exactly how their assets should be treated when they pass away. Failing to do so can leave family and friends facing incredibly difficult legal battles.”
“While these statistics deal with the rich and famous, they do highlight that people who pass away do leave behind a significant legacy and estate which has to be managed when they pass away.
“The only way to try and ensure your estate is handled how you would wish is to have a comprehensive and properly written will in place outlining your key wishes and how matters should be handled when you die.
“Failing to do this can cause major issues in the long run and lead friends and family into complex, time-consuming and emotionally draining legal disputes.
“One of the other interesting aspects of these figures is that it shows in some cases how some people’s legacy can increase in financial value as time goes by. It should be noted however that relatives or dependents who feel they have not been reasonably provided for only have six months to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The six months begins to run on the date a grant of representation is issued, as opposed to on death.
“There is no statutory time limit on claims that a will is invalid or many of the other types of common will dispute claims.”
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