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Disputes regarding family and inherited wealth are becoming more and more common. Complicated family structures, where people are having second or even third families, cross-border estates that span two or more jurisdictions and generally more valuable estates all tend to give rise to circumstances in which there is more scope for probate and will disputes (otherwise known as contentious probate).
Whether you are contesting a will, have a grievance about the administration of an estate or trust of which you are a beneficiary, or are dealing with any other contentious issue in relation to a trust or someone's estate, our specialist trust and estate disputes team is able to assist in resolving your dispute.
We also have expertise in dealing with disputes regarding cross-border estates (where the deceased held assets in different countries) in collaboration with the estate planning and trusts team as well as our specialist French team.
We have a wealth of experience in dealing with capacity cases, including disputes in relation to lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) and applications to the Court of Protection.
More specifically we can advise on:
- will and legacy disputes
- family provision claims (proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975)
- disputes in relation to trusts and family arrangements
- disputes about administration of trusts and estates including claims against executors or trustees
- professional negligence claims
- Court of Protection issues
- uncontested applications
Why we are different
We understand that these disputes are personal to our clients and that there is often more at stake than just financial interests. Family dynamics are just as important in understanding how best to resolve a dispute. We always try to resolve matters through negotiation or mediation, but will vigorously pursue your matter to trial if this proves necessary.
Russell-Cooke offers a complete service in that we work closely with specialist colleagues dealing with probate and wills, the administration of estates, the law relating to the elderly and to incapacity, capital taxation; and if required, our corporate and commercial, family, and French departments.
Our team consists of full and associate members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) as well as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). We have experience of High Court, County Court and Court of Protection matters.
Richard Frimston sits on the Law Society International Issues Committee, and since 2003 has been the representative of the Law Society of England & Wales to the European Committee of the Union Internationale du Notariat (UIN). He is also a member of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) Family and Succession Law Committee.
The Legal 500 describes the team as "one of the major players in this area with the names and expertise to compete with the really big central London firms but with a slightly different, more client-focused approach" (2019).
The team regularly publishes articles with Private Client Business (Sweet & Maxwell), STEP Journal, Taxation, New Law Journal, Solicitors Journal, Probate Section Journal, Title Research Newsletter and the ACTAPS Newsletter.
The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) was established on Monday 8th September, 1997 for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work.www.actaps.com
Private Client Practitioner Top 25 Law Firms
eprivateclient is the leading website and news service for private client practitioners, including lawyers, accountants, trustees and fee-based IFAs. It is the only place to see the results of the Private Client Practitioner Top 25 Law Firms, Top 25 Accountancy Firms, Top 25 Trust Companies, Top 25 IFA Companies, Top 35 Under 35 and 50 Most Influential.eprivateclient.com
Consideration of how litigation is to be funded is a crucial step when deciding whether or not to proceed with a case. Litigation can unfortunately be an expensive process and it is our aim to give you the best information possible about costs at the outset of a matter in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
Our funding product
Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change. We will also consider with you whether the costs being incurred are proportionate to the outcome you might achieve.
We are extremely cost-effective compared with our City competitors and understand the importance of budgeting and providing accurate cost estimates.
We will also offer alternative funding arrangements where appropriate, including deferred payment options and conditional fee agreements (CFAs). We are also able to assist with obtaining suitable after the event (ATE) insurance products which may be used to insure against the risk of being ordered to pay the costs of another party.
The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) was established in 1997 for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work.http://www.actaps.com/
Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.www.gov.uk
French Property Law
The French team has launched its own dedicated French property website which provides a comprehensive resource for people looking to buy a property or with property interests in France.www.frenchpropertylaw.co.uk
Successions in Europe
A European Commission website dedicated to succession in Europe which offers basic guidance for 27 countries. Available in 23 languages.www.successions-europe.eu