It is a well-known ‘fact’ that farmers never retire; there is always far too much to do to have that luxury. Many farmers we deal with are keen to pass the farm and business on to whichever member of the family is most willing, whilst keeping...
Farming Inheritance Disputes
The high value of land and the sometimes complex (and occasionally informal) nature of land and other asset ownership within farming families or partnerships means that disputes can and do arise.
We have a long and successful track record of advising on inheritance disputes (‘contentious probate’) and on all aspects of land ownership pre and post death. We can assist in all areas, including:
- Challenging wills – you may have concerns about lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence or even fraud
- The position on 'intestacy' - who gets what where no will exists?
- Proprietary/promissory estoppel – situations where previous promises or understandings are not reflected in the Will
- Invested money and labour in the farm over the years expecting it'll be yours one day but now you've found its been left to someone else?
- Inheritance Act claims – if you have not been left any provision in the Will, or insufficient provision, you might be able to claim under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Claims in relation to family trusts and disputes about trustees
- Disputes as to who should administer an estate
- Advice regarding farming partnerships following death
Partners Simon Black and Paul Burkinshaw are not only experts in the law but, through experience, understand the issues that can be unique to farmers and landowners when it comes to arguments over estate succession. Simon is a registered member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).
The cost of disputes can be off putting so we offer a range of potential funding solutions, including in appropriate cases:
- Results based agreements (contingency/damages based agreements)
- Hourly charge rates
- Fixed fees
- After the event (ATE) insurance
Alternative dispute resolution
Although many disputes do still proceed to court or arbitration, we recognise that clients' interests are often served in seeking to resolve disputes in other ways outside of the court process. This can resolve disputes much more quickly and at significantly reduced cost. Mediation is a recognised alternative to litigation. To find out about the various options available, go to Courts & Alternative Dispute Resolution.