If you need an expert wills and probate law solicitor you’ve come to the right place.
We at Best Value Probate can advise on the whole range of non-contentious work, and our contentious probate team at Contested Wills and Probate Claims are dedicated to obtaining the right outcome for you, no matter what your contested wills and probate claim may be.
Contentious Probate – Challenging Wills and Claiming Inheritance
The experienced team at Best Value Probate, the specialist Contested Probate Claims team at Bird and Co Solicitors LLP, led by expert solicitor Paul Hardy, represents clients nationwide. You will be advised by Paul or one of his dedicated contested wills and probate claims team.
If you have to have a hearing in the High Court or Probate Registry you will usually be represented by a barrister. We always make sure that advocates or barristers who represent our clients are fully briefed and we work with some of the best counsel in the country to achieve the most advantageous result for you.
We have experience of all types of contested wills and probate claims from:
• contesting the validity of a will because of improper execution;
• later revocation;
• lack of capacity, knowledge or approval;
• fraud, forgery or undue influence through to rectification of a will;
• the variety of other claims that can arise because of disputes with executors and trustees involving potential breaches of trust;
• claims arising out of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision from the estate and/or relating to resulting or constructive trusts and the doctrine of proprietary estoppel.
Best Value Probate can support and advise you all the way through the initial investigatory stages of obtaining the necessary evidence, formulating the strongest claims, taking steps to prevent the distribution of the estate, negotiating the most favourable outcome, and if necessary, onwards including issuing cases in Probate Registries across the UK, or in the County Court and High Court.
Paul Hardy’s experience in conducting contested wills and probate cases now stretches over 15 years. One of his early successful cases was that of McNulty v McNulty  WTLR 737 in which he acted for the elderly widow who was granted an extension of time to bring her Inheritance Act claim some 3½ years out of time after a 5 day High Court trial and was awarded more than one half of the joint assets in the form of a lump sum of £175,000, on the basis that such a capital sum was sufficient to provide her as the wife with an income and to meet reasonably foreseeable contingencies. The Judge, Launcelot Henderson QC awarded it on the following basis:
“.… the great difference between the position on divorce and the position on death is that after a divorce both parties to the marriage have to be provided for, whereas on a death there is only one surviving spouse. So under the 1975 Act it will often be appropriate to award a higher sum than the applicant would have obtained on a notional divorce”.
We’re determined to offer you easy and affordable access to justice. Many firms of solicitors will expect you to make a payment on account of £500 or more, and won’t fix the amount of their fees. We can act on a no win no fee basis and also offer the following services:
• A low fixed fee case assessment service (ask about the Contested Wills and Probate Claims Pre-Claim Review);
• Three different levels of support for those undergoing investigatory steps to establish a claim and gather the necessary evidence, or seeking to negotiate an out of court settlement or taking part in a mediation (ask about our Contested Wills and Probate Care Plans);
• Fixed fee assessment and support for those who have already commenced their Probate Registry or Court claims themselves or who are representing themselves (ask about the Platinum Proceedings Plan);
• Legal expenses insurance assessments and representation work undertaken upon our agreed appointment by your insurers;
• No win no fee conditional fee agreement or damages-based agreement representation; and
• Legal Aid funding for any child needing to be represented in an Inheritance Act claim and/or a claim relating to an interest in property
We are regularly instructed in multi-day cases including some high value, complex, and sensitive claims. No case is too big or small for us to consider supporting. If we take a case on we will then manage the whole process including taking any steps to protect your legal position and time limits, starting the claim process, negotiating a settlement (where possible), preparing your case, representing you in Court, and even helping you to enforce your court judgment or settlement if your opponent refuses to pay.
We are particularly interested in dealing with cases of wrongdoing by Executors and Trustees. We think our results speak for themselves. Why not have a look at some of the successes we have achieved for our clients, at the bottom of this page?
Our Care Plans are a popular choice with our clients because of the value that is obtained from the stress free benefits of having an expert Solicitor available to deal with all of the many different issues that can arise and all for an affordable fixed fee.
To get in touch just call Paul or another member of the Team, use the Contact Form, or email us.
These are some of our recent successes:
• Family member client receives £50,000 inheritance act claim settlement and recovery of costs
• Brother and sister clients left out of will each recover over £30,000 and costs through the negotiation of a deed of variation
• Recovery of £90,000 out of court settlement on behalf of estate client under a constructive trust
• Out of court settlement between sole adult child client and a group of charities recovers additional £10,000
• Settlement under Forfeiture Act application approved by Court wins over £65,000 and costs for protected party client
• Teenage child client pursuing court approved settlement under Inheritance Act claim underway
• Claim on behalf of estate client seeking recovery of £400,000 in undue influence claim underway
• Mixed claims over validity of will for lack of proper execution and Inheritance Act relief underway for £100,000
Non-Contentious Probate and Private Client
Our experienced Property and Probate Law team can advise on all aspects of wills, probate and trusts law, including powers of attorney and LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) arrangements.
The team of three solicitors have a huge range of experience in wills, probate and trusts law, and have dealt with matters from the most mundane to the most complex for high net worth individuals.
All the lawyers in the team are experienced solicitors:
John Thurston – Consultant Solicitor
John is particularly interested in the law relating to wills, trusts, taxation, powers of attorney and elderly clients. He frequently presents courses for Progressive Legal and MBL Seminars and local law societies.
John is the author of “A Practitioner’s Guide to Powers of Attorney”, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Trusts”, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Inheritance Claims” , “A Practitioner’s Guide to Executorship and Administration” and “Estate Planning for the Middle Income Client” all published by Bloomsbury Professional.
John is also a contributor to “Tolley’s Administration of Trusts” and “Tolley’s Administration of Estates” and also contributed a section to “Tax Efficient Will Drafting” published by LexisNexis Butterworths.
John acts as a consultant solicitor providing invaluable expertise on the more complex issues that arise in our private client cases.
Janet Davies – Solicitor
Janet joined Bird & Co. Solicitors LLP in July 2008 as an assistant solicitor based at our Newark Office. She qualified as a solicitor in December 1993 having completed her studies at Chester College of Law and her articles at a Retford based firm.
Janet specialises in wills and probate law. She also undertakes “Lasting Power of Attorney” and “Court of Protection” work. Her working life prior to joining Bird & Co. was spent as a solicitor specialising in family law.
About our Firm
Best Value Probate is a trading style of Bird and Co Solicitors LLP, a highly-regarded firm of solicitors based across three offices in the East Midlands, but servicing clients nationwide (and some abroad too). The firm has been practising for over 30 years and has built up a reputation as a dependable local practice offering expert advice in all areas of law.