Emma Northover, a Partner in the Litigation Department, and her Senior Solicitor colleague, Stephen Fisher Crouch, are both recognised as Inheritance Dispute experts being accredited members of The Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). They have therefore established their experience and expertise in a wide range of cases involving disputed Wills and Trusts and Emma explains what this means:
“These types of cases are becoming more common, partly because of the rise in the value of assets principally due to house price inflation and increasing land values. Disputes can arise not only between members of a family, but also between a family and another beneficiary, such as a charity. You may have heard of the recent case of Ilott v Blue Cross where an estranged adult daughter made a claim for reasonable financial provision from her deceased mother’s estate.
Questions of mental incapacity of the person making a Will are also becoming increasingly common, partly due to the fact that people are living longer, healthy in body but not necessarily in mind. Expert opinion is often called for to establish the mental capacity of a deceased after careful consideration of their medical records.
Whilst careful planning and good communication can often mean that issues with Trusts and Wills can be avoided, unfortunately, there are occasions when families fall out following the death of a loved one. It is important in those circumstances to seek expert advice as quickly as possible so that you know where you stand. This will understandably be a difficult time for you and your loved ones and finding a solicitor who can help you with care and compassion is extremely important.
At Beviss & Beckingsale we pride ourselves on the service which we give to our Clients. Stephen and I are committed to helping our Clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases and we are mindful of the detrimental effect that litigation can have on the individuals concerned and their families.
There are only a few ACTAPS members in this area and Stephen and I are two of them. In addition, Beviss & Beckingsale has recently won Law Firm of the Year (1-10 Partners) at the Devon & Somerset Law Society Awards. So, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, make sure you get specialist advice as soon as possible.”