News & Articles

Cases of undue influence on the rise

According to new research, almost a quarter of people surveyed said they would legally contest a will if they disagreed with how assets had been divided. The research, which was undertaken in...

Read more...

How to contest a will in England: Part 2

We are regularly asked how to contest a will in England. In response to this we have prepared a two part legal guide to contesting a will in England. In Part 2 of this guide we look at the legal...

Read more...

How do I contest a will in England? Part 1

We are frequently asked, 'how do I contest a will in England?'. In response to this we have prepared a two part legal  quick guide to contesting a will in England. Questions about contesting a will...

Read more...

Can I contest my stepmother's will?

We are all familiar with the fairy-tale of Cinderella. Cinder’s mother dies and her father re-marries. The wicked step mother assumes control and favours her own children at the expense of poor old...

Read more...

How to remove a caveat

A brief guide on how to remove a caveat It can come as a shock when an application for a grant of probate is rejected because a caveat has been entered against the estate. Often this will be the...

Read more...

Can an illegitimate child contest a will in the UK?

The recent court decision in Ubbi & Anori (Minors) v Ubbi [2018] highlights the financial and emotional mess that can arise when someone dies leaving behind two families and an outdated Will. It...

Read more...

Is a will valid if the witnesses have not signed the will?

The Court of Appeal has clarified the law as to whether a will is valid if the witnesses have not signed the will. The case concerned the validity of a will made by John Henry Adrian Payne on 1...

Read more...

Grounds for contesting a will in the UK

There are a number of grounds for contesting a will in the UK. A recent court case gives a useful overview of some of the different challenges that can be made. Background to the contested will...

Read more...

How much does it cost to remove an executor?

We are often asked, 'How much does it cost to remove an executor?' Solicitor Lee Dawkins examines the complex but vitally important issue of legal costs in executor disputes. Disputes between...

Read more...

Time limit for contesting a Will

We are often asked, 'what is the time limit for contesting a will?' Legal time limits are notoriously complicated. While general guidelines can be given the law is so complex and there are so many...

Read more...

Can a murderer inherit from his victim?

In the USA they call the principle that a murderer cannot inherit from his victim the 'slayer rule'. In England and Wales it's enshrined in the Forfeiture Act. In most circumstances the rule makes...

Read more...

How to revoke a Will

In England and Wales the law enables you to revoke a Will in 3 ways: 1. Revoking a Will by marriage Marriage - or a civil partnership - automatically revokes a Will. The exception is where a...

Read more...

What happens if a will cannot be found? The presumption of revocation

When a will goes missing, is it presumed destroyed? We look at the law that governs what happens if a will cannot be found. A recent case, Whitton v Herman (2016), has touched upon an area of law...

Read more...

Contesting a will made by text message

The text message will: A modern will for a modern world. The Brisbane Supreme Court in Queensland Australia has ruled that an unsent text message is a valid Will. The circumstances of the case are...

Read more...

Contesting a Will: Disputes over signing and executing a Will

For a Will to be validly signed and executed strict rules need to be followed. As specialist solicitor Chris Green points out, if these rules are not observed, Will disputes can arise.  Section 9...

Read more...

Does a beneficiary have a right to see estate accounts?

Inheritance lawyer, Naomi Ireson, looks at the circumstances in which a beneficiary has a right to see estate accounts? And what are the consequences for an executor who refuses to let a...

Read more...

Broken Promises: The doctrine of proprietary estoppel

What is the doctrine of proprietary estoppel? The doctrine of proprietary estoppel in simple terms refers to a situation where someone suffers detriment as a result of another person's broken...

Read more...

How to apply to become a ‘deputy’

A deputy is appointed when a person lacks mental capacity and is unable to make a decisions for themselves. The lack of capacity can arise as a result of illness or if someone suffers an accident. If...

Read more...

A will dispute solicitor looks at the advantages of mediation

Will dispute solicitor Lee Dawkins looks at the important role that mediation can play in resolving contentious probate cases cost effectively. Alternative Dispute Resolution Any experienced will...

Read more...

Court Gives Judgment In Will Construction Claim

John Dickinson, a barrister at St John's Chambers, recently acted for the defendant in the Will construction case of Amiee Shannon Steed (a Child by her Litigation Friend, Marilyn Joy Winn). The...

Read more...

What Happens if a Beneficiary Dies Before the Will Maker?

We are often asked what happens when a person leaves a gift to a beneficiary in a will, but the recipient of that gift dies before the person making the will. The usual principle that applies when a...

Read more...

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014

Contentious Probate Solicitor, Chris Holten examines changes to the Intestacy Rules (which apply when someone dies without making a Will) that came into force in England and Wales on 1 October 2014....

Read more...

Court of Protection Costs

Contentious Probate Solicitor, Chris Holten, looks at the role of the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  It has jurisdiction over the...

Read more...

All change for wills and intestacy?

With a raft of changes to the law on wills and intestacy set to come into force this month, Naomi Ireson, a contentious probate lawyer, examines whether the reforms brought about by the Inheritance...

Read more...

Executor disputes are increasing

Statistics released by the High Court confirm that the number of claims against executors has trebled in the past year. Contentious Probate Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, reports on the rise of executor...

Read more...

Changes to the Law of Intestacy and Family Provision … But Do They Go Far Enough?

The Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and has an anticipated commencement date of 1 October 2014. Inheritance Act lawyer, Naomi Ireson, considers the...

Read more...

Irrational Will Leaving Estate to Charity Declared Valid

Contested Wills Lawyer, Naomi Ireson, draws lessons from the decision in Vegetarian Society and Another v Scott [2013] EWHC 4097 (Ch) The case of Vegetarian Society and Another v Scott centred on the...

Read more...

Court Rules Gift in Will to the British National Party is Invalid

Our Disputed Wills Team Report on a 'Failed Gift' Contained in a Will A recent case has highlighted how complicated it can be to leave a legacy in a Will to a political party and the importance of...

Read more...

Court Confirms Will Signed in Error is Valid

The Supreme Court has adopted a pragmatic, ‘common-sense’ approach to an invalid Will dispute where a Solicitor made an obvious mistake when arranging for Wills to be signed by a married couple. The...

Read more...

Solicitor's Delay in Preparing a Will is Negligent Says Court

Lee Dawkins, a solicitor specialising in negligent Will claims, reports on the recent case of ‘FELTHAM –v- BOUSKELL’ in which a solicitor was found to be negligent for the delay in preparing a Will....

Read more...

Challenging Solicitors' Costs in probate and Estate Administration

Challenging Solicitors' Costs in probate and Estate Administration Contenttious Probate Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, examines the options open to executors and beneficiaries when they wish to challenge...

Read more...

How to remove an executor

Contentious Probate Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, takes a look at how to remove an executor We are regularly contacted by people who are involved in an executor dispute. These executor disputes often...

Read more...

Intestacy rules: When do brothers and sisters inherit?

Our inheritance dispute team look at the intestacy rules and asks when do brothers and sisters inherit? What happens when someone dies without a will leaving no spouse, children or parents? This is...

Read more...

Signing a will: the potential dangers

Signing a will couldn’t be simpler - or could it? Our Will disputes team take a look at the Wills Act and reveal the dangers that lie in wait for the unwary Do you know how to sign a will? It...

Read more...

Do I need to make a Will?

With the number of contested wills cases increasing, people often ask us if it’s really necessary to make a will. Lawyer Terese Kingman investigates. I specialise in drafting wills so I guess you...

Read more...

What makes a will valid?

Will dispute Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, looks at what makes a will valid Wills need to be prepared in accordance with some very strict technical rules in order to be legally valid. Those rules are set...

Read more...

Will forgery case colapses

Allegations of will forgery and fraud are becoming increasingly common. Our contesed will disputes team look at a recent will forgery case, R v. Avery and others, which collapsed when the prosecution...

Read more...

Co-habitee Inheritance Act Claims

What is the legal position of a co-habitee when their partner dies? We look at cohabitee Inheritance Act claims. It is a popular misconception that the phrase “common law husband” or “common law...

Read more...

Inheritance on Account: Children demanding 'their' inheritance upfront

According to a recent survey one in five British people have already received all or part of their inheritance.  Researchers say that millions of young adults, or NINNIs, (‘Need It Now, Not as...

Read more...