Inheritance, Trust and Probate Dispute Resolution
The members of our team have a wealth of experience advising on trust and probate disputes. The ambit of what we do includes:
- Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims;
- Challenges to the validity of Wills including those relating to a lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence;
- Disputes regarding the ownership of a deceased’s ashes and applications for the removal of personal representatives;
- Applications for rectification of a Will and issues regarding construction of a Will’s terms;
- Advising trustees and beneficiaries in relation to trust assets and trust administration such as seeking disclosure of information regarding a trust or an account of the trust’s finances;
- Applications to vary the terms of a trust;
- Proprietary estoppel and constructive trust claims;
- Claims against solicitors and other professionals in connection with the negligent drafting of a Will or trust, or where incorrect tax advice has been given; and
- Advising on a range of disputes involving persons lacking capacity including dealing with the Office of the Public Guardian in cases of suspected financial abuse and applications to the Court of Protection on issues such as the removal of an attorney or deputy.
Our dispute resolution experience means we can act for individuals or groups of beneficiaries, trustees and personal representatives – even if the disputes involve cross border issues.
Disputes are likely to be stressful so we aim for an early resolution – using alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, wherever possible.
Covid-19: Update on court hearings and mediations
As of 20 April 2020, there were 159 open courts in England & Wales dealing with essential face-to-face hearings. Telephone and video hearings are increasingly being used for non-essential face-to-face… Read more →
Why make a will?
A Will is a legal document in which a person declares their intention as to what should happen to their assets after their death. You are not legally obliged to… Read more →
PROTECTION, PLANNING AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR THE VULNERABLE
Wedlake Bell is a central London law firm that has been servicing its clients for over 200 years. It has 61 partners and is one of the top 100 firms… Read more →
“Was my father ‘coerced’ into rewriting his will?” – Andrew O’Keeffe responds to a reader’s question for The FT
Andrew O’Keeffe, Head of our Private Client Team, has had his responds to a reader’s question on inheritance for The FT. On the issue of contesting a re-written Will, Andrew… Read more →
“How a common law partner can go against your will” – Andrew O’Keeffe and Jemma Goddard write for Spear’s Magazine
The recent case of Thompson v Ragget and others  offers a stark reminder that a ‘common law’ husband or wife may be entitled to receive a substantial proportion of… Read more →
“Could my will be challenged by friends or relatives after my death?” – Caroline Miller explores for Advising Families
Could my will be challenged by friends or relatives after my death? Under the laws of England and Wales, an individual has complete testamentary freedom. This means that you have… Read more →
“Where there’s a Will, there’s a way” Partner, Andrew O’Keeffe, writes for Spear’s Magazine
Partner and Head of Private Client Team, Andrew O’Keeffe, has written a new article on the importance of planning ahead for Wills for Spear’s Magazine. The article, published on 22… Read more →
"Wedlake Bell LLP has ‘a very strong practice’ led by Andrew O’Keeffe, who is ‘extremely experienced and a formidable opponent’. "
— Legal 500, 2017
"Also recommended is the ‘very knowledgeable’ Caroline Miller, who ‘deals with her clients well, is immaculately prepared for each case and fights hard for her clients’."
— Legal 500, 2017
"O’Keeffe specialises in contentious probate matters and has extensive experience in trust disputes, the administration of estates, and claims under the Inheritance Act 1975."
— Legal 500, 2017