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In terms of their strength and depth, they are absolutely first-class. CHAMBERS UK


 

Will, Trust and Probate Disputes

At Adams & Remers we have an enviable position as a widely respected and long established practice, with a market-leading Private Client reputation. Building on that reputation we have established a highly experienced Contentious Trust & Probate Team to advise upon disputes arising in trusts and estates. 

The Team are members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the STEP Special Interest Group for Contentious Trusts and they have a proven track record of resolving complex and high value disputes without the expense and stress of a trial.

As well as our lawyers having experience and expertise in this technical and specialised area, our clients also benefit from our sensitive and pragmatic manner during what can be a most distressing period.

To contact us with your enquiry, please get in touch with a member of our team by email, by phone at 01273 403350, or via the online form at this link.

 

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Work scope

These are the sorts of issues we can help you with

  • Will Validity: Challenging a Will based on the deceased’s of lack of capacity and / or intention to make a Will, undue influence, fraud or forgery.  Also challenges based on poor / negligent drafting or difficulties with the interpretation of a Will (rectification and construction claims).
  • Estates: Advising executors and administrators on claims for and against the estate. Advising beneficiaries about their rights in the estate and claims against the estate
  • Claims for Financial Provision: Claims by disappointed beneficiaries and individuals for financial provision from the estate.
  • Trusts: Claims by beneficiaries against a trust or trustees for breach of duty or breach of trust.  Advising trustees.
  • Disputed Statutory Wills and Attorneys/Deputies: Claims to challenge an attorney’s  or deputy’s suitability to act and advising on disputed Statutory Will applications.
  • Financial Abuse of the Deceased: Investigating the actions of third parties including family members, executors and attorneys and their dealings in the financial affairs of the Deceased both pre and post death.
  • Negligence claims against solicitors and financial advisers in respect of poor and / or negligent advice given to the deceased: Claims to compensate those who have suffered a financial detriment (i.e. the disappointed beneficiaries of a will or trust) where the poor and / or negligent  advice and / or conduct of the solicitor or financial professional fails to give full effect to the Deceased’s intentions.
  • Cost/Funding: We are willing to consider alternative funding arrangements, including ‘no win, no fee’ in appropriate cases.

Recent deals & cases undertaken

Our recent cases include

Will Validity

  • Lloyd Junor acted for the principal Defendant in Brooke v Purton [2014] EWHC 547 (Ch) – the first reported decision on construction and rectification of a Will following the Supreme Court ruling in Marley v Rawling, securing the client’s interests in the trusts under the Will.
  • Advising the adopted son of a deceased in relation to an allegedly fraudulently prepared homemade will which only came to light subsequent to the Deceased’s death and which benefitted family members with whom the Deceased had had little contact.  The claims was resolved to the advantage of the adopted son.

Estates

  • Advising a sibling in dispute with her brother about the value of their late father’s estate and who should take out the grant of probate. This case also involved a dispute about production of the will, necessitating the issue of a subpoena for its production, ultimately resolving the matter.

Claims for Financial Provision

  • Berger v Berger [2013] EWCA Civ 1305.  Acting for the claimant spouse seeking financial provision from her late husband’s substantial and complex estate.
  • Advising the co-habiting partner of a deceased who passed away shortly before marrying him or executing the will she had had prepared by her solicitors. The principal estate asset comprised shares in a limited company in which both the deceased and the Claimant were involved.  We secured a substantial six-figure settlement for our client.
  • Advising the same sex cohabiting partner of a wealthy businessman with an estate estimated at just under £4.6m. The claim was complicated by the existence of a statutory will and the secrecy with which the deceased and the Claimant had conducted their relationship.  We secured a substantial multi-million pound settlement for the benefit of the partner.
  • Advising the executor and adult child of a deceased mother defending a claim for provision from the Deceased’s Estate from her stepfather, where the estate comprised principally assets of the first marriage and minors and unborns were effected.

Trusts

  • Advising the trustees and executors of a discretionary will trust in the context of claims brought for reasonable financial provision by the Deceased’s co-habitee and his adult child, where the estate had an approximate value of £10m and where the interests of the discretionary and default beneficiaries were, on the face of it, adversely effected.
  • Advising in relation to a claim for rectification of a Deed of Gift made during the lifetime of a Deceased which involved issues of who should pay the cost of the application in the absence of an indemnity from the negligent solicitors insurers.
  • Applications to appoint new Trustees.

Disputed Statutory Wills and Attorneys/Deputies

  • Acting for a Deputy in the Court of Protection on his application to deal with his mother’s affairs and where his application was opposed by his sibling.
  • Advising child beneficiaries in a proposed Statutory Will that adversely affected their interests.  We secured a Statutory Will on terms that significantly limited the adverse impact on the children, protecting their interests.

Financial Abuse of the Deceased

  • Acted for the Executors of a substantial estate in recovering in full, the entire value of the Deceased’s assets previously misappropriated by the Attorney ultimately necessitating an application for an Order For Sale of the Attorney’s property.

Negligence claims against solicitors and financial advisers in respect of poor and / or negligent advice given to the deceased.

  • Advising the beneficiaries and the co-executor of a will in a negligence claim against solicitors conducting the administration in circumstances where the solicitors had failed to advise about the adverse effects of a Deed of Variation.
  • Acted for a disappointed beneficiary in successfully resolving a claim to ensure the fulfilment of the Deceased’s clear testamentary intentions after the failure of the will drafter to ensure execution of the will before death.

Testimonials

Recommendations from the independently researched Legal 500 Directory

  • With a team of eight fee-earners, Adams & Remers has ‘a reputation for offering solid specialist advice’, and recently acted for the appellant in the Court of Appeal case Berger v Berger.
  • Lloyd Junor (Partner and Head of Contentious Trust & Probate) is recognised in Legal 500 as ‘another star…and extremely knowledgeable’.
  • The team at Adams & Remers has experience in challenges to wills, breach of trust cases, and reasonable provision claims.

 

 

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