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 Nicholas Buckle, and 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. Nicholas Buckle is a solicitor who deals exclusively with these contentious matters and is assisted by the Dispute Resolution team and our trust expert, Jane Whitfield.

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

Get in touch

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

Wills & Probate Testimonials

Several years ago a close friend told me how highly he respected Hilary Buckle's caring advice and professionalism as a family solicitor. Since then, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Hilary at Barrett & Co with regard to both Lasting Powers of Attorney and also the redrafting of my Will, and have to say that her practical, down to earth approach was at all times a breath of fresh air, and gave me confidence that I had made the right decisions. My occasional contact with other members of the firm was also a pleasant experience at all times.

November 2019
– David Pellett

We found the whole experience of writing our will very quick and simple. We thought Charlotte was brilliant, very knowledgeable and explained everything in simple English! Thank you.

May 2017
– Mrs R McLaughlin

I recently used the services of Ms Vanessa Ruparel at Barrett and Co to prepare a Will on my behalf. She was extremely professional and also gave me some excellent practical advice. This enabled me to consider some alternative ways to deal with my estate and overcome some tricky issues that were concerning me, to ensureall my loved ones are adequately provided for. I am very pleased with the outcome which has been made possible through her much appreciated assistance.

January 2020
– Anonymous

  • review rating 5  From start to finish these guys made me feel at ease during a turbulent time. First class service from all who I death with so I highly recommend them.

    thumb Mo Elliot
    6th May 2020
  • review rating 5  Vanessa Ruparel helped me to write my will after I re-married. She also sorted out my uncle's probate, which was more complicated than we anticipated. I have used Barrett & Co before many years ago when I divorced, so I didn't hesitate to use them again. They always give a quote up front for their work and if there are any problems and costs change they inform you and get your approval. I would never hesitate to recommended them (and I have done so). Thank you for all your help.

    thumb Pam Bryant
    17th April 2020
  • review rating 5  Used Barrett and Co extensively with my business and recently for a personal matter, excellent service on all occasions, you only get what you pay for, would have no hesitation in recommending their services. A big thank you to Vanessa for all her advice and assistance.

    thumb George Darling
    17th April 2020
  • review rating 5  Sometime ago I used Barrett and Co to create a will using Will Aid and it was a friendly and simple process. I have recently been made redundant so I went for an hours fixed fee meeting to discuss my settlement agreement, again this was a very informative meeting and helped me understand the process and provide me with useful questions to ask.

    thumb Keith Harris
    30th March 2020
  • review rating 5  Paul Wild is the best solicitor you can wish for. I benefited from his crucial law experience and wisdom. Excellent customer service.

    thumb Sue French
    5th March 2020
  • review rating 5  During the process of repossession proceedings against my tenant I felt reassured by the open and honest advice I received from Chris Miller. I was impressed by the efficient, professional and friendly service. I can highly recommend this company.

    thumb Eva Timlin
    1st March 2020
  • review rating 5  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 specialst 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.

    thumb azam khan
    6th February 2020
  • review rating 5  I used Barrett and Co for my will via the Will Aid scheme. They were very professional, efficient and friendly. They took time to explain things simply and effectively - offering advice on the implications of different scenarios and ensuring I 'future proofed' my will. Very pleased with the service all round. Charlotte Fox was excellent.

    thumb Gilly Lea
    22nd January 2020