As specialist family and lifetime planning lawyers, we advise on all types of disputes and disagreements surrounding individual and family Wills, trusts and inheritance, including probate disputes and remedies.

We work with individuals, both locally in St Albans and throughout Hertfordshire, as well as across the South East. We also work with other professionals who deal with probate but need guidance when it becomes contested.

Our contested Wills and probate solicitors understand the sensitive nature of these disputes. More often than not, they involve close family members who may have their own expectations and conflicting views about their deceased loved one’s true wishes.

With an increasingly wealthy population, particularly at the senior end, it is no surprise that there has been a rise in the number of disputes about who inherits and who does not. It may also be linked to the more complex family structures of today and changing family dynamics with remarriages, step families and co-habitation. An increase in DIY Wills and probate where mistakes have been made is also adding to the rise.

We take a pragmatic approach to make sure you get the result you want before it becomes a lengthy and costly dispute.

Our specialist team includes fully accredited members of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists).

Get in touch with our Will dispute solicitors in St Albans and Radlett

If you need assistance about disputing a Will, trust or inheritance, challenging probate, or defending a contested Wills and probate claim from a trusted local solicitor, please contact us today. We have local offices in St Albans and Radlett and we regularly serve individuals from across the wider Hertfordshire area and London.

How our Will and inheritance dispute solicitors can help

The area of law that covers Will, trust, inheritance and probate disputes and other issues relating to Wills and probate is often referred to as contentious probate.

We understand that the death of a family member is always at the centre of these disputes. Whether you were close to the deceased person or you had a complicated relationship, we will always approach your matter with sensitivity and respect. We will take the time to get to grips with the issues of your matter, your feelings, and your ideal outcome. We are skilled at opening up discussions with other members of the family or their legal representatives to try to find creative solutions without the matter escalating too far, keeping costs to a proportionate level and helping you avoid the stress of lengthy court proceedings.

Our expertise includes:

We are able to handle complex and niche types of Will, probate and inheritance dispute, including:

  • Rural and agricultural Will and inheritance disputes involving farming families and landed estates
  • Insolvent estates
  • Estates involving overseas property and businesses

Our contentious Wills, trusts and probate expertise 

We take pride in being able to offer the highest quality of advice to individuals going through Will, trust and inheritance disputes. We consistently work to improve and maintain our skills, both as a firm and as individuals, so you can trust that we are best placed to help you.

Our private client team is top ranked by leading independent client guide, Chambers and Partners for our ability to expertly handle all types of Wills, trusts, inheritance and estate administration work, including contentious matters.

Amongst our dedicated team of contentious probate solicitors, Michael Henry, is recognised by Chambers and Partners as being a ‘notable practitioner’ for his ‘exceptional’ and ‘diligent’ service. Michael is one of just seven fully qualified members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) in Hertfordshire.

We also have a significant amount of independent recognition for our general Wills, inheritance and probate expertise and high levels of client care. Our accreditations and professional memberships include:

Disputed Wills and probate FAQs

Common questions we are asked concerning disputes include:

How do I dispute a Will?

In England and Wales, people have the freedom to leave their money and property to whomever they like. However, it is possible to challenge a Will in certain circumstances, such as:

  • You believe the Will is invalid, for example because:
    • It was made by someone not of sound mind
    • The testator (person who made the Will) was coerced or forced into making the Will (undue influence)
    • The testator did not know of the Will’s contents or approve of it (even if they signed it)
    • It was not signed, witnessed or drafted correctly
  • You were left out of the Will or you were not left as much as you need – in this situation, you may be able to make an Inheritance Act claim
  • You can make a claim against a professional, such as a solicitor or financial advisor, if they were negligent, for example:
    • A professional did not execute the Will properly
    • A professional wrote the testator’s wishes down wrong
    • A professional did not properly assess whether the testator had sufficient mental capacity to make a Will
    • A professional gave the testator negligent tax advice

For further information, please visit our Disputing a Will page.

How do I remove an executor?

An executor is someone appointed under a Will to handle the administration of a deceased person’s estate. Executors have significant responsibilities, such as to get the estate valued, handle inheritance tax, liaise with HMRC and distribute inheritance to the beneficiaries.

If you are a beneficiary of an estate and you are concerned that an executor is handling the estate administration poorly or fraudulently, you may be able to make an application to remove and (if appropriate) replace the executor.

Wherever possible, it is beneficial to try to resolve an executor dispute before resorting to court. Many issues can be successfully dealt with without going anywhere near a courtroom.

However, if amicable resolution is not possible, we can provide advice about applying to remove an executor before probate or after probate has been issued.

For more information, please visit our Disputes involving Executors, Trustees and Beneficiaries page.

What is a beneficiary dispute?

As the beneficiary of a Will, you will surely have many questions and concerns about the administration process – how long should probate take? Has the estate been valued correctly? When am I entitled to receive my inheritance?

Where you have concerns that an executor or administrator is mismanaging the estate or causing unnecessary delays, we may be able to take legal action. Similarly, if you are the beneficiary of a trust and you believe the trustee is not following their duties correctly, you may be entitled to make a legal claim.

Another common type of issue is a dispute with another beneficiary over inheritance. If you think that you have not been left as much inheritance as you need in favour of another beneficiary (whether they are a family member, a friend of the deceased or a charity), we can provide advice on making an Inheritance Act claim.

For more information, please visit our Disputes involving Executors, Trustees and Beneficiaries page.

Get in touch with our Will dispute solicitors in St Albans and Radlett, Hertfordshire

If you need assistance about disputing a Will, trust or inheritance, challenging probate, or defending a contested Wills and probate claim from a trusted local solicitor, please contact us today. We have local offices in St Albans and Radlett and we regularly serve individuals from across the wider Hertfordshire area and London.

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