Customer area
Brighton 01273 838734
Contentious probate case studies & testimonials
call-answerCall Us
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • ×

    Contentious probate case studies & testimonials

    Healys acts for claimants and defendants in these cases, giving us a detailed understanding of both sides in these often complex disputes.  It also means that we understand that these cases can be very difficult for everyone involved – the problems come up when people are already suffering from the loss of a loved one.  Although it is ultimately possible to go to court for many of the reasons outlined below, we always explore ways of settling cases as quickly as possible to avoid distress and cost at this difficult time.

    To read more about how we have helped clients, please click on the case study links below.

    Case studies

    A dispute that involved an execution of Will

    In a case handled by Healys, our client was the executor and beneficiary of the Will of an elderly friend who had made a Will several years before his death leaving his entire estate to our client.  A family member of the testator who had not been in touch with the testator for many years made allegations that the Will had not been executed properly and applied for a grant of letters of administration as if there was no Will. 

    He intended to take the whole estate himself as the sole surviving relative of the testator.  The testator had overseen the execution himself so there was no solicitor who could give evidence.  Despite the time that had passed since the will was executed, Healys traced both witnesses and obtained from them detailed evidence of the circumstances of the execution.  When Healys presented that evidence to the family member’s solicitors,  the claim to be entitled to the estate was withdrawn and our client obtained probate of the Will.

    A dispute that involved Undue Influence and Want of Knowledge and Approval

    In a case handled by Healys, our client was executor of a will which left the majority of the estate of a family member to him.  Another family member challenged the Will on the ground of want of knowledge and approval because he believed that the bequest to him was too small.

    He raised several points in an effort to show suspicion as to the circumstances in which the Will was executed.  This included that the Will was drawn up by different solicitors from the testator’s previous solicitors and that our client lived with the testator at the time and had arranged the meetings with the solicitor.  Healys took evidence to show that the change of solicitor was for good reasons, and that although the meetings with the solicitor were arranged by our client he took no part in the meetings themselves.  After the evidence had been produced, the claim settled with the claimant receiving only a slightly increased bequest.

    A dispute over what property is in an estate

    Healys’ Ben Parr-Ferris acted for the successful defendant in the case of Glanville -v- Glanville [2002] EWHC 1271 (Ch).  Mr Glanville had a family by his first marriage.  After his first wife died, he married the defendant Mrs Glanville and they lived together for some years.  Unknown to his wife, Mr Glanville made a will leaving the property they lived in (but which belonged solely to Mr Glanville) to his family.  Unknown to his family, Mr Glanville executed a deed of gift giving that property to himself and Mrs Glanville as joint tenants.  When Mr Glanville died the joint tenancy meant that the house went to Mrs Glanville outside of the estate, and so the will had no effect.  The family challenged the deed of gift alleging undue influence by Mrs Glanville.  After trial, the judge concluded that there was no actual undue influence (i.e. no evidence of coercion).

    There was a possibility that Mrs Glanville could have exercised dominance over Mr Glanville that meant there was a close relationship that satisfied the first limb of the test for a presumption of undue influence to arise.  The claim failed under the second limb however because the deed of gift did not call for any explanation; it was an entirely natural transaction that could be explained easily in many other ways than by improper pressure from Mrs Glanville.

    Contentious probate testimonials

    I was recommended to use Healys LLP, for a rather delicate probate issue.  The expert advice that I received from Mr Ben Parr-Ferris prompted my decision to move forward with the matter, despite my initial anxieties.  He instilled confidence from the outset and this continued throughout the process as he clearly knows his stuff!  He was always keen to listen to my concerns and all legal correspondence were shared with me prior to sending.  This was indeed something I greatly appreciated as it is nice to be kept totally in the loop.

    In a nutshell he made a very difficult situation bearable by answering any concerns I had along the way in a timely fashion.  I would therefore not hesitate to use both Ben’s and the firm’s services again should the need arise.

    Steven Coker
    Call Us Today
    Call our London office on 020 7822 4000 or our Brighton office on 01273 838734. You can also contact us online.
    Call Us Today
    London: 020 7822 4000 Brighton: 01273 838734 Or you can contact us online: Contact Us
    Call Us Today
    London: 020 7822 4000 Brighton: 01273 838734 Or you can contact us online: Contact Us