Estates, Trusts and Inheritance Disputes
Our Dispute Resolution team advises individual clients of the firm and estates in relation to all contentious trust and contentious probate matters.
Our team of contentious probate solicitors also work with colleagues in our Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning department to ensure our clients receive the full range of expertise available in the firm which might be required by the particular circumstances of their dispute.
We understand that when people become embroiled in disputes involving wills or other inheritance isses, these matters are often very emotional and difficult. We are always aware of the nature of the work we are dealing with and advise our clients in a professional, empathetic and sensitive manner at all times.
It is possible to challenge the validity of a will. If it can be shown that one of the grounds for challenge exists, the court could make an order altering the terms of a will. The most common grounds for challenging a disputed will are lack of capacity, whereby the testator (the person making the will) lacked the mental capacity to understand what they were doing when they made the will; where there is want of knowledge and approval in that the testator did not understand the effect of what they were doing; where there has been undue influence/coercion; and fraud, for example, where there is a forged will.
The costs involved in dealing with disputed wills and other inheritance disputes in the courts can be high even in relation to estates of modest value. In any litigation, the level of costs involved is of course of paramount concern to clients. We provide detailed and individual budgets at the outset of any dispute. The budget we provide gives a breakdown of the work involved and how much it will cost at each stage giving our clients greater certainty as to both costs and cashflow.
An inheritance claim is where an existing beneficiary or other individual makes a claim for an increased share or a sum to be paid out of the deceased's estate. The basis upon which a claim can be made is that the distribution of the deceased’s estate does not make reasonable financial provision for the individual applying to court. The court will determine whether it would be reasonable to make financial provision for the individual making the application.
We can of course advise you in more detail depending upon your particular circumstances as there are many factors which the court will take into account when hearing an application for financial provision. We have a great deal of experience acting for clients bringing a claim for financial provision. However, we also act for the main beneficiaries of the estate who may wish to defend the claim and the executors who should remain neutral in the proceedings and only provide assistance to the court where required to do so.
To arrange a discussion with a member of the team click here or call us on 029 2055 7200.