Contested Trusts & Probate

Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult and emotional time, especially if you were dependent on them. Unfortunately, dealing with the administration of a loved one’s estate can be complicated by the nature of the estate or where difficulties arise within the family, such as, if you have not been adequately provided for under the will, or if you do not agree with how the estate is being managed. Even if there is no will there are still issues that can arise and legal action that can be taken.

Katie de Swarte provides fast professional advice in this area and will try and resolve your matter expeditiously and cost effectively. Katie is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a  student member of STEP and is currently undertaking the STEP graduate diploma.

Why Contest a Will?

Although a person can leave what they want to whom they want in their will, there are circumstances where the courts can intervene, such as:

  • Where you are arguing the validity of the will because:
    • the deceased did not intend to make a will, or;
    • the will was not properly signed and witnessed, or;
    • the will has been revoked and is no longer effective, or;
    • the will was not the last will of the deceased, or;
    • the deceased was not of sound mind, memory and understanding when making the will, or;
    • the deceased did not have legal capacity when making the will, or;
    • the deceased did not know and approve of the contents of the will, or;
    • the deceased made the will under duress or undue influence, or;
    • the will was forged or tampered with.
  • If the will does not make proper provision for you as a dependant or family member of the deceased  (or under the rules of intestacy where there is no will) you may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975;
  • Where the Executors and/or Trustees are behaving improperly or unreasonably;
  • Where problems or disputes arise as to the actual administration of the estate, including negligence;
  • Where a solicitor has been negligent in preparing (or failing to prepare) a will;
  • Where there are disputes over the estate property and ownership.

Whatever your issue it is important to get expert legal advice quickly to ensure you do not miss any time limitation dates, and to resolve any disputes and grievances with the minimum of time, cost and hassle.

We know that funding your matter may be a concern but please note that we offer a range of funding options including ‘no win, no fee’ agreements.

Read Katie's article that appeared in STEP Volume 22/Issue 2 on the practical steps to be taken when a vendor or buyer dies after exchange but prior to completion by clicking here.

You will also find other articles written by Katie within 'Our Blog' section of our library page.  To view these please click here.