"Thank you for all the support you have given us in this difficult, complicated and interesting case, you have explained all the jargon in easy to understand terms with efficiency and helpfulness."
Sally 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.
Contentious Trusts & Probate
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.
- Association of Contentious Trusts & Probate Solicitors (ACTAPS)
“Thank you for all the support you have given us in this difficult, complicated and interesting case, you have explained all the jargon in easy to understand terms with efficiency and helpfulness.”
“Highly experienced, always communicates clearly and remains calm under pressure.”(The Legal 500, 2019)
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 12 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014