"Sally Goodger was exceptional; not only was she approachable and knowledgeable, but also focused, direct and straightforward in explaining the state of things. She cut through all the noise and emotion and honed in on the core issues, but remained compassionate."
(The Legal 500, 2020)
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.
Sally was a finalist at the STEP Private Client Awards 2017/18, in the category of Contentious Trusts and Estates Team of the Year (Large firm).
Sally is recognised as a Recommended Lawyer and Rising Star by the Legal 500 (2020 edition). She is also listed as a Leading Individual by Chambers (2020 edition).
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)
“Highly experienced, always communicates clearly and remains calm under pressure.”(The Legal 500, 2019)
Associate Sally Goodger receives strong praise for her expertise in contentious trusts and estates work. A client says: “Sally was great to work with. She was knowledgeable about the subject matters, and explained things thoroughly. She was also happy to go over things with me if I didn’t understand everything. Sally also got back to me in a timely fashion and kept us up to date with the progress of the cases and her costs for each stage.” Another interviewee reports: “I enjoy working with Sally. I find her advice to be practical, timely and effective. Sally is excellent at navigating a calm path through contentious matters and is an invaluable source of legal knowledge and support. I am pleased to recommend her to clients without hesitation.(Chambers & Partners HNW, 2019)
“Sally Goodger was fantastic. Despite the complexities of my situation, she remained calm and professional throughout. I could not have asked for a better person to deal with my case; she kept me informed at every step and never made assumptions or judged me.” Another client noted that “Sally Goodger at Freeths was great to work with and helped us settle two contested estates.”(The Legal 500, 2020)
“We worked almost exclusively with Sally Goodger. The work was done efficiently and I was kept informed of progress throughout with clear explanations of all legal matters; the outcome was successful.”(The Legal 500, 2020)
“Sally Goodger is an excellent lawyer who provides clear and sensible advice and remains calm under pressure.”(The Legal 500, 2020)
Associate Sally Goodger receives strong praise for her expertise in contentious trusts and estates work. A client says: “Sally was great to work with. She was knowledgeable about the subject matters, and explained things thoroughly. She was also happy to go over things with me if I didn’t understand everything. Sally also got back to me in a timely fashion and kept us up to date with the progress of the cases and her costs for each stage.” Another interviewee reports: “I enjoy working with Sally. I find her advice to be practical, timely and effective. Sally is excellent at navigating a calm path through contentious matters and is an invaluable source of legal knowledge and support. I am pleased to recommend her to clients without hesitation.”(Chambers & Partners HNW, 2020)
‘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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Contact: 03301 001 014