Protecting charitable legacies
A charity may find themselves in the position where they have been left a legacy in a Will by a donor who has passed away, but the legacy has then been disputed by a family member or dependent of the deceased person who feels that the charity should give up part or all of its interest in the legacy.
Donations to charities through legacy income run into billions of pounds each year, so there is a lot at stake as far as charities are concerned with these type of disputes.
Charity legacy disputes – how our solicitors can help
At Nelsons, our expert solicitors in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham have experience which is second to none in all areas of charity legacy, Will and inheritance disputes, which is one of the many reasons that the team has been recommended by the independently-researched Legal 500 as one of the top teams of specialists in the country.
Our team includes members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) in all three of our office locations, meaning that our clients are never far away from an expert in this field. We provide advice to charities of all sizes, from national household names to smaller local charities.
Legacy disputes are typically made by family members or dependents on the following alleged grounds:
- Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 as they feel that reasonable financial provision has not been made for them in the Will;
- They want to challenge the mental capacity (testamentary capacity) of the deceased person when they made the Will;
- They want to challenge the proper execution or interpretation of the Will;
- They wish to challenge the validity of the Will by alleging improper pressure was applied to the testator with a view to the Will being executed; and/or
- They believe there was another agreement with the deceased person before they died relating to the disposal of their estate.
Alternatively, charities may find themselves having to bring a claim against an executor to rectify the misappropriation of a deceased person’s estate or a claim which relates to a forged Will or breach of trust.
Our team provide expert legal support tailored to a charity’s circumstances, providing pragmatic and commercially aware advice to achieve what is best for the organisation and limit any negative impact litigation may bring in terms of adverse exposure.
When a charity is involved in a dispute it can be extremely stressful, time consuming and costly, distracting those involved from the charity’s primary aims, but we work with our clients to resolve the dispute at the earliest possible stage through negotiation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Court action is a last resort but, if a case gets there, our team puts forward the best possible case, never losing sight of our client’s objectives.
For further information on how our solicitors can assist with charity legacy disputes, please call 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online enquiry form.
"Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a sizeable contentious trusts and probate team that frequently handles disputes concerning high value estates. The team displays strong expertise in Inheritance Act claims, complex challenges to wills, court of protection and defamation matters. Practice head Kevin Modiri and his team are 'sensible and pragmatic' and frequently deliver client training and CPD seminars.”Legal 500
"The team is well briefed, competent, polite and efficient at all times."Client Feedback