0345 604 4895
Personal

Wills, Trusts & Estate Disputes

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through. If there is also a dispute over their Will or estate, this can make it even harder.

We have the largest specialist team in the country for dealing with Will, trust and estate disputes. We understand how difficult it can be when the terms of the Will are not as expected, or there are disagreements between those inheriting and those in charge of administering the estate or looking after the various assets.

Our specialist solicitors can help with:

Disputes over a deceased person’s estate are unpleasant, but sadly they do happen. Large and complex estates can present even more challenges, and it’s vital you have the experts on your side.

Our team has resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of estates where there is rural property involved, or assets are held in different countries under multiple jurisdictions.

We understand that this is a sensitive matter, often involving close family and loved ones. At every stage we’ll strive to make sure your claim goes as smoothly as possible, and reaches the best resolution.

Whether you are making or defending a dispute against a Will or estate, our experienced and friendly team can help. We have offices across the country, and are happy to meet somewhere that’s convenient for you.

Call us today on 0345 604 4895 – or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

Offices in 14 locations across the country
24/7 advice on our Will Disputes Helpline
One of the largest Wills disputes teams in the UK
Specialist mediators available to resolve disputes out of court

0345 604 4895

Or we can call you back at a time of your choice

  • Phone lines open 24/7, 365 days a year

Contact us today

For a free initial consultation

Prefer not to call?

Use our form

This data will only be used by Irwin Mitchell for processing your query and for no other purpose.

Wills, Trusts & Estate Disputes - More Information
    • Who Can Contest A Will?
    • You may be able to contest a Will if you feel that you have been unfairly left out or that the Will doesn’t provide enough for you. This includes:

      • If you're named in the Will but received less than you expected
      • If you were financially dependent on the deceased and have not received enough in the Will
      • If you have been left out of the Will entirely
      • If the deceased promised to give you something before they died, but didn’t
      • If you're worried that the Will doesn’t accurately reflect the deceased’s wishes.

      Whatever your concerns about your loved one’s Will, our specialist team can advise how best to put things right. Call us today on 0345 604 4895 to find out more.

    • How Do I Contest A Will?
    • Making a claim will differ slightly depending on the circumstances of your dispute, but it’s usually made up of the same steps:

      1. Investigation

      We’ll examine the Will and any related documents (this might be property deeds, trust accounts, previous Wills made by the deceased).

      If relevant, we may also gather medical evidence about the deceased, to understand their condition when they made the Will. This would be particularly important in disputes over whether or not someone had mental capacity to make a Will.

      We might also get witness statements from those who knew the deceased, to better understand the full circumstances in which the Will was drawn up.

      These investigations will help us confirm whether you can make a claim, and what type of claim it will be.

      2. Mediation

      Most disputes can be settled by an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation. This means that you don’t have to go to court, which can be costly and time-consuming.

      Mediation typically takes place on one day, with a professionally trained mediator present as a neutral third party. The mediator’s role is to try to help you reach an agreement with the other parties.

      3. Court

      Some disputes cannot be resolved by reaching an agreed settlement. If this is the case, the matter will have to be decided by a court. This is rare, however – and if it does happen, we have the expertise to secure the best outcome for you.

      Whatever the circumstances of your dispute, we’ll support you every step of the way – and we’ll give you a clear idea at the start of how long we think it will take, and the outcome we think you can expect.

    • How Much Does It Cost? Who Pays?
    • The cost of a Will, trust or estate dispute varies from case to case, depending on time, complexity, and whether or not you have to go to court.

      A dispute can be settled at any time if the parties can come to an agreement, and they can then decide how to split the costs between them. However, if an agreement can’t be reached and the case has to go to court, the court will decide how the costs will be paid.

    • How Can I Cover The Cost Of My Claim?
    • There are various ways you can cover the cost of your claim, depending on your case. These include:

      • Legal Expenses Insurance
      • Conditional Fee Agreement (‘No Win No Fee’)
      • Payment on conclusion
      • Private monthly billing
      • Litigation loans and third party funding.

      We understand that funds and assets may be tied up in the disputed estate, and we’ll be as flexible as possible to ensure that’s not another worry on your mind. We’ll discuss the different payment options with you at the start.

      Your first consultation with us is completely free, and there’s no obligation to continue.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Depending on the type of claim you’re making, you may need to start your claim within six months of the grant of representation being issued.

      In all cases, it’s very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, so you aren’t prevented from making a valid and potentially valuable claim. We’ll be able to advise you on your situation and how we can help.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our Wills, Trusts and Estate Disputes team is the largest in the UK and we have offices across the country. We are experienced in managing high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth claims as well as less complex ones.

      We’ve resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of multi-jurisdictional wealth management structures, rural property and inheritance tax.

      We are recommended by the leading legal guides and pride ourselves on the strong relationship we build with our clients in what is often a very trying time.

      Meet the team

My legal team has held my hand throughout, they have been incredibly patient and understanding"

Joy Williams, Client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Grounds For Contesting A Will?

There are many reasons you may wish to contest a Will – or find yourself defending a contested one. This may be because of disputes over the terms of the Will, or because the Will itself is considered invalid.

A Will could be considered invalid if:

  • The proper protocol wasn’t followed when it was drawn up (this is known as ‘lack of due execution’)
  • The deceased did not have mental capacity to execute a Will (known as ‘lack of testamentary capacity’)
  • The deceased had mental capacity but did not know or approve the contents of the Will
  • Someone used undue influence to get the Will amended for their own benefit
  • There is forgery or fraud involved.

Even if a Will is legally valid you might want to dispute it. This could be the case if you have been left out of a Will, or given less than you were promised or led to believe you would inherit. Visit our Inheritance Act page for more information.

If a person has lost mental capacity, a statutory Will may have been made on their behalf. We can also help you if you want to challenge the terms of a statutory Will.

Call our friendly team today for more information on 0345 604 4895 – or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

Read More... Read Less...

What Does Contentious Probate Mean?

Contentious probate is the term for any dispute over the administration of a deceased person’s estate. This might include:

  • A dispute over the value of assets
  • The interpretation of a Will
  • Contesting probate when no Will has been left
  • Dealing with an executor who has mismanaged the estate
  • Feuding beneficiaries.

Contentious probate is different from challenging the Will itself, or bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act if you’ve been left out of a Will.

Head to our Contentious Probate page to find out more – or give us a call today on 0345 604 4895 to talk to one of the team. Alternatively, send us a message online and we’ll call you back.

Read More... Read Less...

How Do I Get A Copy Of The Will?

The executor of the estate or the solicitor of the person who died should be able to give you a copy of the Will. All Wills are eventually made public so it’s not restricted information, and everyone who inherits something from the Will is entitled to know that they are a beneficiary.

When a Will is disputed, the solicitor or Will writer has a duty to make a copy of the Will and its relevant documents available from the outset. Getting a copy of the Will is the first step – it’s important to see it as soon as possible, to avoid missing any time limits on making a claim.

If you don’t know who the executor is, you can search at the probate registry for a copy of the grant of probate – this will have a copy of the Will attached. If a grant of probate hasn’t been issued yet, you can put in a request for a standing search, and you’ll be notified when the grant is issued.

Call our specialist solicitors today on 0345 604 4895 if you have any questions about how to get a copy of the Will – or send us a message online and we’ll call you back.

Read More... Read Less...

Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

Read More Feedback

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

© 2018 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.