"Sally Goodger in the Oxford office is an astute and very able practitioner, who handles her disputes with skill and empathy"
(The Legal 500, 2023)
Sally Goodger works in our firm’s contentious trust and probate team.
She acts for individuals and charity clients to resolve disputes arising out of challenges to wills, claims against estates and disputed trusts. Sally’s clients include executors, beneficiaries and trustees. Recognising that costs are often an issue when dealing with disputes, Sally provides clear and regular guidance as to the costs position to keep her clients informed.
Building close working relationships with her clients, Sally is able to deliver clear and jargon-free advice to help her clients work through the steps required to achieve a resolution. Disputes over wills/trusts and claims against estates arise at a time when families have lost a loved one, and Sally gains the trust of her clients by dealing sensitively with the issues that arise.
Sally is listed as a Recommended Lawyer and a Next Generation Partner by The Legal 500 (2024 edition).
She is also listed as Associate to Watch in Chambers High Net Worth Ranking (2021 edition).
Contentious Probate Solicitors
Sally is able to assist you as an executor, beneficiary, family member or friend in a dispute, challenging or defending the validity of a will where:
- a will has not been signed and/or witnessed properly;
- the deceased was ill at the time the will was made, for example due to dementia;
- the deceased did not understand the contents of their will;
- where pressure had being placed on the deceased by a relative or friend to change their will;
- considering your options where the deceased has excluded you from their will or made insufficient provision for your needs in their will; and/or
- defending a claim for provision from an estate where you are a beneficiary, pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
- Sally recently acted for the daughter in a disputed multi-jurisdictional estate. The deceased (born in Italy) had lived in England for over 40 years. His wife alleged that he had adopted England as his domicile of choice and made an Inheritance Act claim against his £1.5 million estate. Sally obtained witness evidence to show that he had not lost his domicile of origin. The claim was settled favourably at mediation.
- Acting for four charitable co-beneficiaries of an estate worth over £20 million, Sally advised the charities in relation to a challenge to the deceased’s last will, by his brothers, based on testamentary capacity due to schizophrenia. The deceased had left the family business over 20 years before his death and choose to benefit friends and charities in his will rather than his brothers.
- Due to a solicitor’s drafting error in a will Sally was instructed by an executor to issue an application in the High Court to rectify and construe the terms of a will to enable the executor to administer the estate in line with the deceased’s wishes. A professional negligence claim was also pursued against the will writing solicitor to recover the costs of the application.
Contentious Probate Disputes for Individuals & Charities
- Assisting where issues arise relating to the terms or running of a trust – both for trustees and beneficiaries.
- Disputes in the Court of Protection including lifetime wills, welfare, children and the elderly.
- Concerns over the actions of people holding a Power of Attorney over an individual’s finances and welfare and assisting in cases where vulnerable people may be at risk.
- Advising as to you interest in a property specifically affected by gifts and legacies in wills and your rights to the ownership and realisation of your interest.
- Issues arising where lifetime gifts have been made or received.
- Disputes between executors and between executors and beneficiaries and the removal of executors and trustees.
- Correcting drafting errors in wills and interpreting unclear terms in wills.
- Claims against professionals and will writers whose action or inaction has caused a loss to an estate or a disappointed beneficiary claim.
- Providing guidance on alternative solutions to formal court proceedings, for example negotiated settlements and mediation.
- A dispute perspective on remote witnessing of wills
- A Recap of 2020’s Key Contentious Trust and Probate Cases
- Proprietary estoppel life interest upheld by Court of Appeal
- The Trials and Tribulations of being an Executor – Private Client Webinars – October 2020
- A reminder that persuasion does not amount to undue influence and a solicitor’s file note can be crucial
- Coronavirus – Wills and Estate Planning Considerations During the Pandemic
- Farms and Estates Newsletter – Spring/Summer 2018
To contact Sally or for more information…
- Association of Contentious Trusts & Probate Solicitors (ACTAPS)
‘Sally Goodger is excellent and a pleasure to work with.’(The Legal 500, 2024)
‘Sally Goodger brings a wealth of experience to the team, having particular aptitude for clients in the charity sector.’(The Legal 500, 2024)
‘Sally Goodger is hard-working and unflappable even in the most stressful situations.’(The Legal 500, 2024)
“I have worked recently with Sally Goodger who is unfailingly calm and retains a sense of perspective and humour under pressure.”(The Legal 500, 2023)
“Sally Goodger is very knowledgeable with a good commercial sense.”(The Legal 500, 2023)
is “good at strategic thinking,” while a client enthuses: “Sally is very professional. She is especially good at dealing with urgent developments, not just time-wise but competently.”(Chambers & Partners HNW 2022)
“Sally Goodger acts on a variety of contentious trust and probate matters. A source reports that she is “good at strategic thinking,” while a client enthuses: “Sally is very professional. She is especially good at dealing with urgent developments, not just time-wise but competently.”(Chambers & Partners HNW 2021)
Sally Goodger acts on a variety of contentious trust and probate matters. A source reports that she is “good at strategic thinking,” while a client enthuses: “Sally is very professional. She is especially good at dealing with urgent developments, not just time-wise but competently.”( Chambers & Partners HNW 2021)
“Sally is professional, knowledgeable, patient, friendly and efficient, whether communicating on the phone or over email,” according to a source. She represents wealthy individuals and charities in contentious private client matters, including will and trust disputes.(Chambers & Partners HNW 2021)
“Sally Goodger is an excellent lawyer who provides clear and sensible advice and remains calm under pressure.”(The Legal 500, 2020)
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