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Will & Inheritance Disputes

Contentious estates, probate, trusts and Wills solicitors. Providing expert support through all types of disputes following the death of a loved one.

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Dealing with inheritance and probate can be complicated. 

If you’re facing a dispute relating to the death of a loved one, their estate or their assets, it can prove extremely difficult to navigate alone.

We assist clients with resolving disputes that relate to Wills, inheritance, estates and trusts. 

We specialise in disputes that relate to the validity of Wills, Inheritance Act claims for financial provision, trustee and executor disputes, as well as any issues that arise in the interpretation of Wills or the administration of estates. We also advise in connection with allegations of lifetime financial abuse and disputed gifts and transactions.

We’re here to support you through this emotional and unsettling time. Providing expert guidance at every stage of the process, our team will help you to reach the right result.

Whether you’re a claimant, defendant, executor, trustee or beneficiary, we’ll fight your corner and represent your interests to the highest possible standards — giving you the greatest chance of successfully resolving the dispute on the best possible terms.

Writing a will

How we can help

We act for a wide range of individuals, including high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth families in connection with estates across the North West and wider England and Wales.

Widely recognised for our expertise in relation to contentious trust and inheritance disputes, we’re often called on to resolve issues that arise in high value and complex estates, including those with business or international elements. We can recover or protect multi-million-pound estate assets.

If you believe that a Will is invalid, you’ve been unfairly left out of a Will or you should be entitled to a greater proportion of a family inheritance — or if you have any other concerns regarding an estate — we can help.

We’re more than happy to conduct virtual or face-to-face meetings with you — providing a flexible and responsive service to clients both nationally and internationally.

Estate home maze ornament

Our expertise

This area of law has its own procedures and rules. 

Our contentious probate specialists work solely in the field of Wills, trusts and inheritance disputes.

Decades of experience and our specialist expertise enable us to offer practical advice and develop innovative strategies to achieve resolution as early as possible.

Our prior commercial litigation experience often provides us with an advantage over our opponents, particularly when it comes to estates that involve real property and business interests. 

Talented litigators

Our team is led by “talented litigatorNicola Turner — a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Solicitors held in high regard by fellow professionals and The Legal 500. She’s described by a fellow legal professional as someone “whose judgement sets her apart” and has been instructed to represent barristers and partners in other law firms in their personal capacities.

Our team also includes Associate Beth Middleton and Solicitor Georgina Vokes and is supported by paralegal Victoria Bennett.

A “highly promising” Associate, Beth is recognised as a ‘key lawyer’ in The Legal 500. She's also a member of ConTra (the Contentious Trusts Association) and the Northern Contentious Probate Group. Beth is due to become an accredited Associate Member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Solicitors this year and is widely recognised across the Northern circuit for her expertise.

Our services

Case Highlights

Company shareholding

Acting in a claim that sought the return of the deceased’s company shareholding (valued at £500,000) which was transferred to other family members post-death by a company director.

Inheritance Act claim

Representing a widow in connection with the estate of her late husband in a claim under the Inheritance Act and in relation to various lifetime trusts, including one that relates to the matrimonial home. The deceased was a multi-millionaire who had established various ‘family’ trusts as part of his estate planning but left his widow with no security in relation to her home or income.

Financial abuse

Acting for a number of high-profile regional charities (including North West Cancer Research) in relation to a variety of contentious probate matters, including Will construction, validity challenges and Court of Protection proceedings.

Financial abuse

Acting as court-appointed independent administrator of a multi-million-pound estate with international assets. High Court proceedings have been issued to determine whether a significant lifetime gift made by the deceased to one of their two daughters was valid, due to alleged undue influence and lack of capacity.

Executor dispute

Representing the widow of a retired solicitor who died in 2016, leaving an estate worth almost £8m. The assets include various investments based internationally. We pursued an application for an account and inquiry and in the alternative to remove the professional executor.

Executor conduct & removal

Representing the daughter beneficiary of the estate of her late father. The deceased held a property as tenants in common with his wife, with provision for a right of occupation following his death. The wife is in full-time residential care and the right of occupancy has therefore come to an end. The beneficiary intends for the property to be sold in order to realise her interest. The executor has permitted a third party to rent the property (despite having no legal standing to do so) at a significant undervalue and taken no steps to market the property or administer the estate.

Will interpretation

Representing the Executor of an estate in which the deceased gifted a property in her Will to one of her sons and gifts of the equivalent value in cash to her other two sons. After the Will was executed, the deceased placed her interest in part of the property into a limited company, such that the gifts in her Will have partially adeemed. A claim by the disappointed beneficiary was successfully defeated without the need for contested Court proceedings.

Will validity

Representing a charity that is the beneficiary of an estate. The professional executor has questioned the validity of the last Will on the basis of lack of mental capacity. The case is complicated because of the issue of conflict, confidentiality and potential breach of professional obligations on the part of the executor, whose conduct is contrary to the best interests of the beneficiaries.

Inheritance Act claim

Successfully representing a claimant who was the 30-year spouse of the deceased and executed a Will that excluded her entirely to the benefit of her two estranged children. Proceedings were issued under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The matter was complicated by the fact that the deceased had intentionally disposed of assets to a third party in attempt to defeat a claim for financial provision. Following a financial dispute resolution hearing, the parties agreed to settle which provided for the claimant to receive the majority of the estate, together with payment of her costs in full.

Thank you so much, Nicola [Turner]. Please know that you have made a huge difference to my son’s life and my own — and we are hugely grateful for all that you have done. This is truly the first time in over four years where I don’t feel like I am carrying a ton of lead weight with me everywhere. We can finally begin to live again. So grateful to you.

Client feedback

Nicola Turner stands out… in the accuracy of her judgement of cases and their likely outcome… Nicola is not afraid to give direct advice and she never sits on the fence.

The Legal 500

Nicola’s focus is always on achieving the best results for her clients… She is adept at combining empathy with professionalism. She gets the balance right, offering a service which combines the personal touch with the pragmatism required to get her client to where he or she needs to be. If I was ever to find myself embroiled in probate litigation, Nicola would be one of the people to whom I would turn.

Mediator

Where Nicola scores particularly strongly is that her assessment of the merits and weaknesses of her cases is highly accurate. This allows her to deal with her cases in a very focussed and efficient way which leads to good outcomes and a high degree of satisfaction from clients. Her direct and proactive manner leaves opponents in no doubt that she knows what she is doing which is crucial in these types of disputes.

Barrister

A high level of technical expertise is needed as well as an ability to empathise and gain the confidence of clients involved in what are frequently highly emotive disputes. Nicola possesses that level of technical ability as well as the emotional intelligence needed to engage successfully with clients.

Barrister

Thank you so much for all of your help with this matter. I can finally move forward knowing that this matter has been resolved in the best way and by a fantastic law firm. Once again thank you so much for all your help.

Client feedback

My family and I would like to thank you all for the work, patience and professionalism during the stressful period that we endured during the time of my case. We had the best team of solicitors to fight our case.

Client feedback

I would like to thank you again for all your help on this matter. As you can imagine, so much weight is lifted from our shoulders now that the matter has been resolved. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Client feedback

Beth Middleton dealt with the complex and challenging dispute of my grandmother’s estate on behalf of my mother. Beth made the process easy to understand and had quick, solid solutions for every problem we encountered. What was a difficult and upsetting time for my mother was made less stressful due to the care and compassion shown by Beth while legally navigating her case. Beth’s communication with the family throughout the process was faultless and her responses were speedy. Beth is extremely diligent and careful in her work. She gave us confidence that matters were always in-hand. The service we received was second to none and I would not hesitate to use Beth and Brabners for future endeavours.

Client feedback

Beth Middleton is a very capable junior solicitor with a growing profile in the contentious trusts and probate market in the North West.

Anonymous barrister

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About Brabners

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