Contested wills, trusts and estates

Our team of solicitors can advise on a variety of disputes involving wills, trusts and estates. Whether you are:

  • contesting a will;
  • facing a will dispute;
  • concerned over how a trust is being run;
  • a trustee faced with a possible dispute;
  • an executor or beneficiary involved in a contentious probate or inheritance dispute; or
  • wishing to make a claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Expert solicitors in trust and inheritance disputes

There are often very strict time limits when looking to contest a will, trust or estate. Our dedicated team appreciate the urgency and are on hand to advise you every step of the way.

Our Contested Wills, Trusts and Estates Team act for clients throughout Wales and England. Our no-nonsense approach means we cut through the jargon to give you straightforward, clear legal advice.


Partner died without a will (dying intestate)

We advised an elderly client whose long term partner appears to have died without leaving a will.

Without a will his considerable estate will be distributed in accordance with the statutory provisions and, as he and our client were never legally married, it will pass to distant family with whom he had little contact.

We advised our client to assert an equitable interest in the property based on her financial contributions over a period of time and also to bring a claim against the estate by virtue of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Homemade DIY will issues

The team has recently concluded a case which involved a homemade will prepared by a testator whose assets were valued in excess of £1M and comprised of land and business assets.

Advice was required on behalf of the deceased’s infant children as to how the terms of the will would be interpreted and what steps should be taken to ensure that they received a fair proportion of the estate.

A court approved settlement was reached where the infant children would receive a sum in excess £500,000 to be placed on trust for them during their minorities.

Disputed dissolution of a trust

We have advised one of the trustees and potential beneficiaries on the disputed dissolution of a long established trust for a prominent landowning family.

The trust’s assets, including land and antiques were valued at over £4M. This involved advising on diverse and complicated issues including: breach of trust, land law including agricultural tenancies, capital gains, inheritance, income and corporation tax and succession law.

Such issues are relatively commonplace and, given the large amounts of complex and often contentious issues surrounding the dissolution of a trust, specialist, expert and dedicated advice is invariably required.


‘the go-to-firm for contentious trusts and probate litigation in Wales’; its ‘unrivalled depth of experience and knowledge in the area’ enables it to ‘handle the largest matters easily and professionally.
The Legal 500 2017

Hugh James has a ‘history of eminence in this area’. Matthew Evans (‘genuine specialist‘, ‘leaves no stone unturned’) and senior associate Roman Kubiak (‘a pleasure to deal with’) specialise in high-value agricultural business disputes and have cross-border experience.
The Legal 500 2015

Hugh James has a renowned contentious probate and estate team with equally respected experience of non-contentious work. They provide tax planning and cross-border estate administration to clients including wealthy individuals and financial institutions.

Clients say: “They have excellent personalised client service and provide thorough, specialised legal expertise. They set the benchmark for excellence.”

Matthew Evans receives glowing praise from the market for his contentious trusts and probate practice. Sources comment: “He is thoroughly prepared, has great attention to detail and superb judgement. He is a pleasure to work with.”
Chambers UK 2014

Hugh James is ‘head and shoulders above the rest’ for contentious probate. The department is headed by Wiljo Salen, who is ‘very experienced across a range of litigation’. Matthew Evans was promoted to partner in 2012, and is ‘very sound’, with ‘good judgement and insight’.
The Legal 500 2013

This group is best known for its handling of contentious estates and probate, a focus that sets it apart from many other private client practices outside of London. It also has the capacity to advise on non-contentious estate, probate and tax planning matters, and there has been a noted uptick in the team’s high-value cross-border work. A source states it is “innovative and flexible to the demands of customers” and “very willing to get involved.” Interviewees consider Alun Jones to be “a leader” and “extremely responsive.” Matthew Evans is generating enthusiasm for his contentious trusts, estate and probate work. A source notes that he has “really unique capabilities.”
Chambers UK 2013

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