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

  • 5 star review  I approached several local companies about advice on an employment matter. Barrett and Co were, by far, the most responsive and flexible. The advice I received from Justin Sadler was timely, expert, professional and concise. Thank you for a great service.

    thumb Andrew Carter
    17th November 2020
  • 5 star review  Based on my experience I would have no hesitation to recommend Barrett and Co to any friend or family member in need of legal services. Further, any legal service is only as good as the people within it and the people at Barrett and Co are brilliant. They are helpful, communicative, understanding and patient. They explain the options and when legal language is required and necessary they are willing to sit down and explain what it mean in plain english. Great people and a Great service,

    thumb kevin bulcock
    7th October 2020
  • 5 star review  Paul was really responsive, supportive and answered all my questions in a really honest and professional way. It was a pleasure working with him and i would recommend him to anyone needing a solicitor. Thank you Paul

    thumb Lore S
    6th October 2020
  • 5 star review  I have worked with Justin Sadler several times and he always responds really well with easy to understand advice

    thumb sue bancroft
    5th September 2020
  • 5 star review  Vanessa drew up my will after a video consultation (due to Covid 19) and then I got it signed and witnessed in the office car park maintaining social distancing. My will was very straightforward but Vanessa ensured that all necessary areas were considered and addressed. I received a very professional, courteous service and I would certainly use Barrett and Co again.

    thumb Julie Haycock
    3rd September 2020
  • 5 star review  Dealt with Chris Miller who was fantastic from the start. Clear assessment of the issues and risks with great guidance and proactive communications. Chris is a very valuable asset and I would recommend him fully. The only issue I had was with the bill which was not clear and had to be adjusted. We won the case with costs awarded but it still cost us the best part of £1400, not sure how that works....

    thumb Isanino World
    16th August 2020
  • 5 star review  Justin Sadler provided an excellent service in relation to an employment matter. His clear and concise guidance provided me all the necessary assurance and support to conclude the matter. The rest of the team at Barrett's, where also very professional and highly responsive in the short time I had available to reach a conclusion. Barrett's certainly instilled a strong sense of trust and would definitely be my first choice for any future legal matters.

    thumb Garry Sissons
    13th August 2020
  • 5 star review  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