Contentious Probate and Inheritance Claims


Through our Contentious Trust and Probate team we are able to offer specialist advice whenever difficulties arise in relation to an estate or a trust.

Our lawyers are praised for being both sympathetic and understanding when dealing with what is often a dispute involving other family members or relatives. Our approach is always designed to be pragmatic and whenever appropriate we will advise clients about alternative dispute resolution procedures that might be considered.

We follow the guidance and code of conduct set out by the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

Our clients include both individuals and professionals and we have considerable experience of both successfully bringing and defending contested probate and Inheritance Act claims of all sizes, ranging from the more modest to multi-million pound estates. Where necessary we work closely with members of MacDonald Oates’ Wills, Probate and Trusts team, which includes members of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) in order to provide a complete and seamless service to our clients.

Areas in which our contentious trust and probate team have particular experience and expertise include arguments over a person’s entitlement to be a beneficiary under a will, where there are questions over the deceased’s testamentary capacity or where undue influence may have been exercised over them, as well as where there are questions as to the construction, interpretation or validity of a will (including advising in respect of ‘Mutual Wills’ claims).

We also act in claims over the administration of an estate, including where necessary making applications to the Court to pass over or remove Executors and deal with disputes relating to a Power of Attorney, including applications to the Court of Protection to have a Deputy removed or appointed.

We are regularly instructed to act for members of the family or dependants of someone who has died where either no or inadequate provision was made for them, which can result in a claim being issued for a share of the deceased’s Estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. We also handle issues concerning insolvent estates.

Our contentious trust and probate team also advises in situations where there has been negligent drafting of a will and has experience of pursuing claims against solicitors on behalf of disappointed beneficiaries.