Luke Taylor

Direct Dial: 01252 550 428

Emma Warner

Direct Dial: 01252 550436

Disputing a Will

Will disputes fall into 3 broad categories –

  1. A claim that a Will is invalid.
  2. A claim by a family member, or dependent, that he or she has been unfairly excluded from the Will, or left an inadequate amount. This is called an “Inheritance Act Claim”.
  3. A promise made to leave a bequest, which has not been honoured in the Will.

An Invalid Will Claim

A will is invalid if:

  • the Testator’s signature was forged,
  • it was not correctly witnessed,
  • the deceased lacked the necessary mental capacity at the time he gave instructions for the Will,
  • the deceased did not fully understand or approve the contents of the Will,
  • the deceased was subjected to duress or undue influence to make the Will.

An Inheritance Act Claim

A spouse is entitled to be left sufficient provision in the Will of the pre-deceasing spouse.

This rule applies even if the couple were separated at the time of death – but will not apply after divorce proceedings have been concluded.

It is often said that a spouse is entitled to claim what he/she would have been awarded in a divorce settlement: this isn’t accurate – often, the entitlement will be greater – but, it is a good starting point.

Children, including step-children in full-time education may be entitled to claim sufficient to maintain them until their education is complete.

Adult children, and step-children, will find it difficult to make a successful claim unless they can show either:

  • that, because of ill-health or other unfortunate life circumstances, they cannot provide financially for themselves and their family, or

  • that the parent had financially maintained them, wholly or in part, prior to death.

  • Financial dependents – even if you are not related to the deceased, if he or she was financially maintaining you – whether wholly or in part – you may be able to make a claim on the Estate.


Generally, a bare promise to leave you property or a sum of money will not be sufficient to make a successful claim.

However, in some circumstances – very broadly when you have given the deceased something significant in return (it doesn’t have to be tangible – for example, providing care would count) such a promise may be enforceable.


In Conclusion

Disputed Will claims are a highly specialised area requiring expert investigation and evaluation. The Law is complex and, often, claims are made more difficult because of fraught family relationships.

With our in-house expertise and tactical skills, we have a high success rate in this field and, in many cases, will offer a “no win no fee” arrangement to enable a claim to be made.

Talk to us free of charge for some preliminary guidance.

What will we do for you?

  1. First, we’ll listen.
  2. Then we’ll ask questions.
  3. Then we’ll advise.
  4. And then we’ll do what you ask us...
    quickly, simply and at the cost we’ve agreed.

Contact us by phone or email whenever you are ready.

Luke Taylor provided clarity in all aspects of the work undertaken, with prompt responses to telephone or email queries.

Case Ref. WIL3040

Everyone I had any dealings with were very professional and helpful.

Case Ref. WIL3092

Luke Taylor is always helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

Case Ref. WIL3107

I found Emma Warner easy to talk to. She made me feel at ease discussing delicate subjects. Reception staff are friendly and the reception area bright and comfortable.

Case Ref. WIL3100

Options were explained clearly and processed quickly and efficiently.

Case Ref. WIL3151

Mr Luke Taylor was very pleasant and extremely patient.

Case Ref. WIL3034

We were glad to deal with Luke, Emma and Megan, all of whom were most helpful. We would have no hesitation in recommending Woodford Stauffer to others and will certainly contact you if we need further help.

Case Ref. WIL3031

Luke Taylor was professional at all times, very patient with us and a pleasure to deal with. Hopefully we won't have the need of a solicitor in the future, but if we do, we'll be back.

Case Ref. H3415.2

I found Emma Warner extremely efficient, knowledgeable, approachable with very good people skills.

Case Ref. WIL3068

A professional service delivered in a timely fashion.

Case Ref. WIL3076

Very friendly and professional service, I would certainly recommend Woodford Stauffer.

Case Ref. WIL3061

Emma Warner was really helpful and knowledgeable.

Case Ref. M3675.2

Mr Taylor's expertise and advice made us think out of the box, giving us valuable current advice. I have been with this firm since it was formed and never had to turn to another firm for any legal professional advice.

Case Ref. WIL3023

Luke was excellent. Very professional service, made completing our wills very easy and straight forward.

Case Ref. W3087.1

Good advice and straight forward 'no fuss' process.

Case Ref. WIL3020

Luke ensured that the process of setting up our wills and LPA's to be as smooth and pain free as possible.

Case Ref. E898.2

Luke Talyor was excellent.

Case Ref. P2109/2

Emma made probate happen to achieve our deadline. Probate completed with time to spare. Clear concise information provided at all stages.

Case Ref. S3977/1

Emma Warner was excellent; she understood the difficulties of the situation, was considerate of my feelings and clear in her instructions.

Case Ref. S1963/6

Luke Taylor made a complicated process very easy to get through. A huge thank you.

Case Ref. C3436/1

My brother and I felt that Luke Taylor, who was dealing with my late fathers estate, dealt with it in a professional manner and would recommend him to family and friends. Great job.

Case Ref. C3472/1

Emma Warner provided an excellent service and answered all our requirements. Her clear explanation of the probate systems was very clear and simple.

Case Ref. M544/2

Emma Warner was consistently helpful. The client instructions/info forms are an excellent idea.

Case Ref. H3467/1

Emma Warner was most helpful. This is our second time of using Woodford Stauufer and would do so again.

Case Ref. B3865/3

Sally and her team are a credit to the firm.

Case Ref. T1752/1

Emma Warner was caring and provided helpful advice

Case Ref. L1176/2

Mr Luke Taylor was very professional and helpful at all times. The office has a good welcoming atmosphere. I was made to feel at ease immediately, nothing was too much trouble for anybody I spoke to.

Case Ref. H3333/1

Luke was very good.

Case Ref. F1420/1

I have previously used your services whilst moving house. I would thoroughly recommend Woodford Stauffer to others. Always friendly and efficient service whilst being affordable.

Case Ref. D2025/1

Luke Taylor for sorting out our wills and POAs after unpicking previous documentation. Darren Bowen for arranging sale and completion of previous and current property with little effort on our behalf.

Case Ref. D1924/3

Emma was first class and made us feel very welcome.

Case Ref. A1566/1

Thank you Emma for the excellent support you have provided.

Case Ref. H3382/2

Emma Warner was very efficient and helpful.

Case Ref. M3612/1

Luke Taylor was professional but very relaxed which helps greatly and he knows his stuff. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Woodford Stauffer.

Case Ref. H3420/1

Pleasant and friendly staff who make you feel at ease and are helpful but listen to your requirements.

Case Ref. M3613/1

Excellent service from all.

Case Ref. R2114/1

Everyone was excellent.

Case Ref. Z98/1

A big thank you to Luke Taylor, for all his hard work regarding my late mother's estate, well done.

Case Ref. R2046/2

Luke Taylor was very efficient, prompt & helpful from start to finish dealing with our enquiries.

Case Ref. M3537/2

Luke Taylor's explanation was excellent. Thanks to all your staff they were all very attentive. Excellent.

Case Ref. D1951/1

Mr Luke Taylor gave helpful advice in preparing and updating our Wills.

Case Ref. F1390/1

Emma Warner has a great deal of knowledge in her field of expertise and showed empathy after the death of my mum which I appreciated, Emma is a credit to your firm. I will be recommending Woodford Stauffer to others looking for help.

Case Ref. B3760/1

Emma Warner was a delight and incredibly helpful and patient!

Case Ref. L1851/1

We were totally satisfied with all aspects of our dealings with Luke Taylor.

Case Ref. C3394/1

We wish to thank Mr Luke Taylor for his very professional and excellent assistant.

Case Ref. C3405/1

Mr Luke Taylor, thank you very much for your excellent service.

Case Ref. B3934/1

Luke Taylor offered very useful advice regarding inheritance matters.

Case Ref. H268/4

Emma Warner really helped with my Will

Case Ref. S3810/1

You have always given us an excellent service. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all the staff at Woodford Stauffer for giving us peace of mind when dealing with Wills, and house buying etc.

Case Ref. C574/3

I found Mr Luke Taylor extremely helpful, and I am very grateful to him and to your firm. With my thanks.

Case Ref. C3309/1

Luke and his team always provided excellent service, they were friendly and approachable and met all our needs.

Case Ref. L1771/2

Luke was particularly helpful and managed us all through a somewhat complex process really well.

Case Ref. L1763/1

Luke - prompt and efficient.

Case Ref. S3677/1

Emma Warner has been excellent throughout making home visits for my husband's Will and then providing advice regarding obtaining Probate. Always professional and efficient.

Case Ref. G2371/1

We have had a lot of dealings with Luke over the last two years and always find him to be courteous and very professional. The lady on reception is always very pleasant.

Case Ref. L1750/1

Mr Luke Taylor and staff and your reception staff are very helpful on the phone and when you visit the office.

Case Ref. H3249/1

Everyone was very friendly and professional and especially understanding with my elderly mother.

Case Ref. W2944/1

Luke Taylor provided clear and concise detail at all times and good advice - without waffle! Thank you for your good service.

Case Ref. N290/3

Luke Taylor was at all times very friendly, explained things very clearly and fully answered all of our queries. All staff that we saw were friendly and helpful.

Case Ref. C1907/2

Emma Warner and Sally Digweed were both excellent. Both ladies have been professional and helpful in a very stressful time. A big thank you to both ladies.

Case Ref. B3745/1

Emma Warner helped me to the car park and was extremely helpful and kind.

Case Ref. H3264/1

Emma Warner was very kind and explained my will thoroughly as I had not done one before.

Case Ref. M3011/4

Luke Taylor - Always pleasant and helpful.

Case Ref. M36/4

Luke Taylor - A very friendly manner and makes everything easy to understand.

Case Ref. C2696/3

My thanks to Emma Warner for a fast efficient service. I am more than happy to recommend you to my friends .

Case Ref. G2340/1

Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team


Verity Stauffer


Senior Partner

Verity Stauffer

Direct Dial:01252 550408

Email Verity Stauffer

Co-founder of Woodford Stauffer in 1990, Verity is the Managing Partner. She specialises in clinical negligence and difficult personal injury claims.


Luke Taylor


Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate

Luke Taylor

Direct Dial:01252 550 428

Email Luke Taylor

Luke qualified as a Solicitor in 2000 and has been a Partner since 2013.

He is head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department and is STEP qualified.

Luke has a particular interest in acting for the elderly as advisor or attorney, administering their financial affairs and tax planning, and in setting up and administering Trusts for the disabled.


Emma Warner

Wills, Trusts and Probate Executive

Emma Warner

Direct Dial:01252 550436

Email Emma Warner

Emma has been a Private Client Executive since 2012, specialising in Wills, Probate and Court of Protection matters. She works closely with Luke Taylor.