Probate & Inheritance

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Becket Chambers deals with all aspects of Probate and Inheritance and the Court of Protection, including appearing on behalf of Claimants/Applicants, Defendants/Respondents or third parties.

Our Barristers deal with both contentious and non-contentious probate claims, applications to the court to deal with personal representatives and the administration of estates and applications under the 1975 Act for financial provision. We advise and represent estates as well as beneficiaries or interested parties.
Members have experience of:

  • Cases of undue influence and fraud
  • Claims for removal of Executors and Trustees, and for breach of their duties
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Challenges to construction of Wills and Trusts
  • Constructive trusts and proprietary estoppel
  • Disputes over the validity of Wills
  • Issues of testamentary capacity

Members of Chambers also have experience in dealing with Court of Protection cases. The Court has jurisdiction in matters relating to the property, affairs and personal welfare of persons who lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

We also have specialist experience in cases involving applications for declarations and orders in respect of vulnerable persons and disputes in relation to attorneys, as well as Barristers with special interest in claims to set aside Wills for undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.

Case Studies

Successful challenge to a Will

Paul acted for beneficiaries under a Will where there was a claim by the deceased’s husband for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for family and Dependents) Act 1975. The Will gave the husband, who had significant long-term health issues, only £5,000 from an estate worth approximately £1 million (and allowed £16,000 for the Continue reading

Advising on inheritance where there is a previous marriage

Dean was instructed to advise a client in relation to a claim brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Dean’s client had been residing with the deceased, however at the time of his death the deceased remained married to another woman. Moreover the deceased had not amended his will since 1979 Continue reading

Advising on a breach of mediation agreement

Dean was instructed to advise a claimant in a dispute originally concluded by way of a mediation agreement in 2010. The agreement provided for one of the properties of an estate to be sold forthwith, until which time his client would reside in one of the other estate properties. Following the sale the client would Continue reading

Defending a claim for breach of contract and negligence

John acted for a Defendant business in a claim for breach of contract and negligence following the death of the proprietor, in which the Claimant sought to claim against the business, which was the estate of the deceased. The Claimant, the spouse of the deceased, sought to argue that amounts of money had been left Continue reading

Probate & Inheritance Articles

Where there’s a Will …

I often deal with cases arising from the lack of reasonable financial provision for a spouse or children under a Will, or where a person has died without completing a valid Will. I hope this article will help people avoid some of the most common problems in those situations. While the starting point is that Continue reading

Thy Will Be Done. Maybe…

Those readers who follow legal stories in the press will not have failed to notice a spate of cases concerning end of life decisions. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that an application may no longer be needed for an order to withdraw life-sustaining treatment for a person with a ‘prolonged disorder of consciousness’. “An Continue reading

Larke v Nugus

A Larke v Nugus request is a request regarding the circumstances of drafting a Will. The starting point is the case of Larke v Nugus (1979) 123 SJ 327. It is a case I sometimes use when advising probate clients. The case held that the professional who drafted the Will should provide information about the drafting and Continue reading

Beddoe Applications

A Beddoe application is a type of application to the court, made by trustees, for directions. The trustees ask for permission from the court to litigate (or continue to litigate) against someone not a party to the proceedings. There is a main application, which is the substantive case itself, and the Beddoe application. Common Beddoe Continue reading

PROBATE: Solicitor? Barrister? Both?

SOME areas of law allow the lawyer in question to deal with something nice. For example setting up a new business, buying a house, or receiving an inheritance from an unknown relative who left a handsome sum to a client. That last example would fall under probate law. Lots of probate however is less pleasant. Continue reading

Probate & Inheritance Testimonials

In relation to the service by Paul Tapsell and Arron Smith, I was extremely happy. Arron was very prompt and diligent from the clerking side and Paul was (as ever) swift to deal, to the point in his written opinion and very effective in court. Additionally, he was not only willing but most eager to assist and spend time on a very late issue I raised even though the lateness was entirely my fault! I continue to regard Paul as a massively safe pair of hands.

Mr S from Solicitors Instructing Paul Tapsell – March 21

“Thank you very much for all your efforts in this case, which have been very much appreciated by myself and the clients. I look forward to working with you again in the future”

Mr W from solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – April 19

“….Just wanted to say thankyou for all of the work that you put into the case, it’s very much appreciated thankyou again….”

Mr T instructing Clive Styles through the DPA scheme – July 15