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Inheritance Dispute Solicitors

With our long and distinguished history, it is unsurprising that we have a depth of experience and expertise in dealing with testamentary disputes.

"Payne Hicks Beach are arguably the strongest family law firm in the country, providing enviable strength in depth in both financial and private children law areas" Chambers UK

Such disputes can relate to intestacy (where an individual dies without having made a Will expressing their wishes) or to matters relating to or arising from the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“The Act”), where an individual dies and fails to provide reasonable financial provision for dependants.

In the appropriate circumstances, the following are able to make a claim:

  • A spouse/ civil partner of the deceased;
  • A former spouse/ former civil partner who has not remarried;
  • An individual who has cohabited with the deceased for a period of at least two years prior to their death;
  • Children of the deceased;
  • An individual who has been treated by the deceased as a child of the family; and
  • Someone who was being supported financially by the deceased when they died.

Our team are acutely aware that such claims occur at a very distressing time when individuals are feeling vulnerable and require sensitive but constructive support.  Whilst recognising the need for sensitivity, we are able to guide our clients adeptly through the process during this fraught and difficult period.  Of particular importance in relation to claims brought under the Act: such a claim must be brought within 6 months from the date of Grant of Probate. Accordingly, clients are advised to seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

We are equally well placed to pursue a claim on behalf of a claimant or resist claims on behalf of  beneficiaries or trustees of the deceased’s estate.  Wherever possible, we aim to to resolve matters pragmatically, economically and preferably consensually, whether though solicitor led negotiation or by recourse to Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Where it is necessary to engage the court process, we are accustomed to prosecuting or resisting such claims in a manner that is efficient and cost proportionate.  We are experienced in dealing with matters that are both complex and that involve multiple jurisdictions.  We are able to involve our colleagues in the Trust and Tax teams to assist, where appropriate.

With top ratings in Chambers UK, Chambers HNW and The Legal 500 UK guides, the Family Team is recognised as frequently advising in some of the most high-value and high-profile finance cases in the market, including cases involving complex international aspects.

The Family Team at Payne Hicks Beach is ranked in Chambers HNW 2023. The directory writes that Payne Hicks Beach has a highly esteemed family law department which regularly handles high-value and sophisticated matters.” Testimonials include “They are uniformly first rate, from the technical ability of more junior team members with day to day responsibility on a case, to the deep experience and strategic thinking offered by the partners and more senior associates” and “PHB are absolutely excellent. They are all extremely competent, and can handle really big cases without being fazed by anything.” With rankings over many years in Chambers HNW, testimonials include “They’re as good as you’ll find; they’re a class act,” says a source, explaining: “They have a lot of depth to their practice. They all have great experience and are very good to deal with.” Another comments: “They are a fantastic group of lawyers. They provide excellent advice to clients, and they have strong expertise in a range of areas. They really invest in their clients; it’s a real pleasure dealing with them.” 

The Legal 500 UK 2023 describes Payne Hicks Beach LLP as a “top notch firm that does A list work for the most influential, successful and high profile clients.”  The law directory expands to say that “the department is ‘outstanding’ and garners praise for its specialist advice on the full spectrum of complex family law issues often with an international dimension for high-profile individuals, entrepreneurs, UHNWs and others including members of international Royalty” and recognises that the team “is frequently instructed in cases that go to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.”  “Overall it is a ‘class act with a team of great lawyers who know exactly how to run the big, difficult litigation but never lose sight of what the client wants’.”  One source comments: “The PHB family team has exceptional experience of the most complex international family law disputes. Very few other firms have this level of experience. Hand-in-hand with this the firm delivers a very personal service, giving clients the assurance that both their case and their welfare are being cared for with utmost attention.”

"The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues" The Legal 500 UK