We offer expert and sensitive legal advice for inheritance and probate disputes as well as complex trust matters. We have experience in acting for executors, beneficiaries, and trustees.

We are one of the few firms in Reading with a dedicated department of contentious probate specialists.

Unfortunately, disputes over Wills, Trusts and Inheritance are increasingly common as families become more dispersed and their structures more complicated. Contesting a Will, Trust or Inheritance, whether you are bringing the claim or on the receiving end of it, is never an easy process.

Our dedicated Contentious Probate team, led by Hilary Buckle and Justin Sadler, and supported by Chris Miller, is here to help. 

Hilary is a qualified member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists), which is the kite mark of excellence in this specialist area of law.

How can we help you?

Fixed fee meetings

Initial advice can be given via a one-hour fixed fee meeting for £95. Thereafter, we will give you an estimate and we will not exceed that estimate without getting your permission first.

If appropriate, we will offer you a fixed fee for a fixed amount of work. We also offer Pay As You Go Legal Service, whereby you only pay for the legal services you want us to help you with, if you decide to do some of the routine work yourself and feel able to do so.

If you are concerned about costs, please be assured that we will always provide you with an estimate based on the details of your case and our previous experience. It may be possible to fund the case through legal expenses insurance, which could even be tied into your home insurance policy.

Areas of expertise

Our team can advise you on all aspects in this area, including the following:

  • The deceased has not made sufficient provision for you in their will; or the Intestacy Rules (where a will is invalid or does not exist) do not sufficiently provide for you. This could be because of a change in your circumstances or because you were financially dependent on the deceased;
  • The deceased made promises to you when they were still alive which have not been kept in the will, particularly with regard to the disposal of the estate;
  • The will was not signed properly or is otherwise invalid;
  • There is a factual error in the will, indicating a claim for amending the will or trust;
  • The original will has been lost;
  • You believe that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a will;
  • Someone has coerced the deceased into making a will.
  • Disputes over the identification of beneficiaries;
  • Breaches of trust or a need to remove or substitute executors, personal representatives or trustees who are failing to act appropriately;
  • Disputes relating to trusts and charities or statutory wills;
  • Professional negligence claims relating to trusts and estates.

Why choose Barrett & Co?

We are down-to-earth and approachable, and we are experts in this field. We are the most reviewed firm in Reading on Google and have one of the highest average ratings. 

Importantly, we have a proven track record in these matters. Some examples of successful outcomes we have secured for our clients are listed below:

  • Acting for the daughter of the deceased who was successful in replacing the executors of her mother’s estate and replacing them with an independent professional
  • Acting for a testator in a complex statutory will matter with several interested parties
  • Securing the arrest of a respondent in probate proceedings where he failed to appear at court
  • Securing a favourable settlement for a claimant in complex probate proceedings involving assets overseas
  • Obtaining possession of a property for our client in an estate where an executor would not vacate the property
  • Obtaining a six-figure sum for a client where she had not received her share of an estate

Further Reading

Contested Probate and Inheritance Disputes FAQs

Contested Probate and Inheritance Disputes FAQs

Twenty Questions About Contested Probate and Inheritance Disputes Answered By Our Expert Solicitors. These are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients when it comes to contentious probate, inheritance disputes and the administering of estates.

Contentious Probate: How Much and Who Pays?

Contentious Probate: How Much and Who Pays?

Who will pay for litigation and how much it will cost are two of the most frequently asked questions by clients. A common response is that “it depends”. Below I explore that answer.

Contentious Trusts and Probate: Burial and funeral disputes

Contentious Trusts and Probate: Burial and funeral disputes

Burial disputes arise when there is disagreement about what should happen to a person’s body after they die, including how or where to bury the body. This is often a distressing time for the family and disputes can flare up as emotions are often running high.

The tracks at Court: into which track does contentious probate fall

The tracks at Court: into which track does contentious probate fall?

One of the difficulties with understanding court procedure is the technicalities involved and the baffling language used! This article explains one such technicality and summarises it briefly.

Get in touch

Hilary is the head of the Private Client and Contentious Probate teams, and deals with all aspects of Private Client work.

Justin is the head of the Dispute Resolution Teams and deals with all aspects of Contentious Work.

If you would like to know more or arrange a fixed fee appointment, please call us on 01189  589711. Or email Hilary Buckle at [email protected] or Justin Sadler at [email protected].

Contentious Probate Testimonials

I live in Adelaide, South Australia and found Barrett and Co through the internet. I needed help with a matter in England.

The early advice and guidance from Nick and his colleagues, ensured I was well prepared for our one-hour online meeting. During this meeting, they addressed all my concerns and outlined the options available to me. This gave me the confidence, to make sound decisions as I move forward with my matter and happy in the knowledge that I can contact them again, should I require further advice.

I have the highest regard for their professionalism and the respectful way they dealt with me during our meeting, and I happily recommend them to anyone needing legal advice.

December 2020
– Anonymous

I had a very delicate but deeply personal matter that I needed professional legal help with. In short it involved a matter of my father's will, inheritance and money owed to me from a sibling. After much research I contacted Justin at Barrett and co. After an hours consultation with him and Hilary Buckle I gained the confidence to take further steps. It was in their mannerism and approach and they even gave me a written quote detailing exactly what stage they would charge me for, and even this quote was much lower than other specialist solicitors. They were so considerate with me and their reputation so high that my sister instantly gave me large sum of money owed to me and as a bonus all siblings have begun mending our relationship.

February 2020
– Azam Khan

  • Barrett and co have been amazing dealing with probate for my late great auntie... A big thankyou to Charlotte for making thing easier at such a sad time for me and my family... I would 100 percent recommend using Barrett and co and will be using there team in the near future...

    thumb Graeme Oldfield
    4th July 2022
  • Excellent and insightful guidance and advice. Extremely prompt professional and easy to engage. Thank you for the great work Justin.

    thumb Duncan Williamson
    30th June 2022
  • Barrett & Co have been amazing from the start. Aadil Khan and his team have worked brilliantly on my divorce and child arrangement order. The communication has been consistent with Aadil Khan and his team. I truly can not thank you guys enough for all the hard work and the support you've given me over the year and half. I highly recommend Aadil Khan at Barrett & Co .

    thumb Ayesha Ahmed
    21st June 2022
  • I reached out to Barrett and Co to guide me through my settlement agreement . I was assigned Justin Sadler who did an amazing job. Very professionals and very straight forward. Was happy to answer any questions and responded quickly. Would Highly recommend!

    thumb Javehrya
    20th May 2022
  • After needing some advice regarding an employment tribunal we had a zoom meeting with Justin Sadler He made us feel tremendous relaxed, explained everything we had asked in easy to understand terms, offered further guidance and we felt completely confident to move forward within the tribunal process. We would have no doubts in recommending him and will definately be keeping his contact details should we need any help in the future

    thumb lisa jones
    17th May 2022
  • Dealing with Barrett&Co was excellent from the start. They were very swift in providing initial information and booking an initial zoom meeting. I dealt with Justin Sadler who took time to understand my situation and was clearly both knowledgeable re the situation and also honest about what I could expect. Will use again and thoroughly recommend.

    thumb James Regan
    11th January 2022
  • I've dealt with many solicitors in the past 10 years in various areas of law and I must say Barrett come 1st place for me. Great care and attention. **Meant to have mentioned Charlotte Fox was the lady that took care of my affairs.

    thumb simon grigg
    7th January 2022
  • We came across Barrett and Co Solicitors via a free Will writing scheme. Mrs Ruparel was very professional yet friendly; the whole process was very straightforward as she explained all the steps and areas for consideration clearly. The legal support team were also very helpful in answering any queries we had.

    thumb Michelle Smith
    27th October 2021