"Senior associate Laura Short is very on the ball, technically excellent and a great advocate to have fighting your corner."
(The Legall 500, 2020)
Laura is an experienced litigator and has nearly a decade’s worth of experience of dealing with contentious trusts and probate disputes. Laura has built up a strong reputation in the Yorkshire and Humber region for her experience in handling contested probate matters with diligence and real empathy towards her clients.
Laura’s significant experience in contentious trusts and probate matters has meant that she has handled a wide breadth of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Laura has acted for numerous spouses, cohabitates and children and regularly deals with complex and high value multimillion estates. She has dealt with an extensive range of disputes concerning the validity of wills, including cases concerning lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval, undue influence, fraud and forgery.
She also has considerable experience in dealing with executor and trustee disputes, proprietary estoppel and constructive trust claims, disputes concerning the final resting place of the deceased’s body and recovering money from attorneys who have personally spent the deceased’s money as their own during the deceased’s lifetime.
Laura deals with clients who are going through difficult times and strives to find solutions for clients that really make a difference. Laura adopts a sensitive and sympathetic approach and is known for not just being a legal advisor but also someone clients can turn to in difficult times.
She regularly advises a wide range of clients, including individuals, executors, trustees and beneficiaries.
Laura is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2020 edition).
Contentious Trusts & Probate
- Defended a claim that a will was invalid on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity. The claim was strenuously defended and this resulted in the claimant withdrawing his case and paying a contribution towards costs.
- Acted for two children under the age of 18 in bringing a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Successfully secured provision for the children by way of settlement, enabling them to go to university and secure housing.
- Successfully defended a claim that a will was in valid on grounds of fraud / forgery. The perpetrators of the “forged” will were eventually prosecuted in the Criminal Court.
- Acted for two siblings who had been left out of their mother’s will in bringing a claim that the will was invalid on grounds of lack of knowledge and approval, due to her not being able to read, understand or speak English. Successfully obtained a large lump sum figure for the siblings at mediation.
- Successfully brought a constructive trust and proprietary estoppel claim worth over £2m involving a farmer who had been disinherited despite a lifetime of promises to the contrary. A significant sum was obtained on settlement.
- Defended a claim by an independent and financially secure adult child under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The claim was settled for a very small lump sum, preserving the estate for the beneficiaries.
- Successfully obtained a Court Order to remove an executor and appoint an independent administrator, where the current executors could not work together during the process of administering an estate.
- Acted for the executors in resolving a dispute with the beneficiary of a life interest in a property about the terms of the life interest trust.
- Successfully settled a devastavit claim against an executor, where the executor had personally spent a significant portion of the estate proceeds. The entirety of the estate funds were recovered plus a contribution towards costs.
- Acted for a cohabitee of 8 years in bringing a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 197, who was left nothing from her partner’s estate which was worth in excess of £2m. Successfully settled the claim at mediation and secured a six figure sum for the cohabitee.
- Lead fee earner acting for the claimant in relation to a claim concerning the disposal of the deceased’s body. The claim was heard in the High Court in Leeds by HHJ Johnathan Klein (who heard the leading case of Antsey v Mundle  WTLR 931) over a 5 day period. The case was highly emotionally charged due to the fact the deceased had, without any knowledge of her family, married her carer shortly before her death whilst suffering from severe dementia. Laura was commended by the judge for the professional organisation of the claimant’s case.
To contact Laura or for more information…
“tenacious and very amiable”(The Legal 500, 2018)
“Thank you for all you have done for us, it’s over now and I can do the most important thing and that is grieve for my lovely Dad. Thank you again for making this possible.”(Anonymous, July 2018)
“I would also again like to put on record my gratitude and thanks for your professionalism and help in dealing with this difficult case.”(Anonymous, August 2018)
Many, many thanks for all your hard work, support and wisdom in helping us all as a family in bringing this matter to a resolution…the future is ours now without hindrance.”(Anonymous, December 2018)
“Senior associate Laura Short is very on the ball, technically excellent and a great advocate to have fighting your corner.”(The Legal 500, 2020)
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