UK Contentious Probate for Australia & New Zealand

Richard Nelson LLP’s expert solicitors can help people in Australia and New Zealand to resolve a contentious probate issue in England and Wales.


Many of those who choose to relocate abroad to New Zealand and Australia do so leaving family or relatives, often elderly, in England and Wales. Everyday communication can be achieved to a large degree through modern communication methods such as Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom but what happens if an elderly relative dies, becomes ill, or could be in need of safeguarding? Or if there is a dispute over that person’s money, will or estate?

A dispute regarding an elderly or infirm relative’s money or his or her estate would have to be addressed in the courts in England and Wales. That is where Richard Nelson LLP solicitors can help.

What you need is a team that is able to assist those living in New Zealand and Australia resolve the difficulties they and their relatives face when a problem arises. Richard Nelson LLP is a proactive firm of lawyers with proven expertise helping clients resolve probate and trust disputes, estate administration, property problems and disagreements or where financial abuse of the elderly or infirm is a feature. We may also be of assistance where a simple disagreement arises, helping you to find solutions.

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Contentious Probate in England and Wales for people living overseas

Who do you turn to when you suspect that your elderly relatives are or have been financially exploited or a dispute or problem arises relating to their estates or money in England or Wales?

The team at Richard Nelson LLP have considerable experience. We can assist those with concerns regarding their relatives or their relatives’ estates resolve a wide range of legal issues including:
- Will disputes. Is the correct will being submitted to probate?
- Trust disputes. Are the trustees failing to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries or abusing their position?
- Property disputes. Is your relative’s property in the UK being sold at undervalue or rented out with the rent not being passed to the beneficiaries or estate?
- Estate administration problems. Are the Executors or Administrators abusing their duties and responsibilities?
- Financial abuse of the infirm or elderly. Is a Power of Attorney or Deputyship being abused?
- Claims for the removal or executors and trustees. Are those appointed by a will or trust failing to implement the wishes of your deceased relative?
- Cross-jurisdictional difficulties relating to money, property or assets held in different countries.

Who do you turn to when a problem including any of the above arises in relation to your relatives left behind? Lawyers in New Zealand and Australia will likely only be able to suggest that you turn to the internet and, whilst a search may identify firms who offer to assist you, they may not be able to offer you the same range of expertise and experience this firm is able to provide.

For instance, are the solicitors identified by your search members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) or the Society of Trust and Probate Practitioners (“STEP”)? Do they have lawyers in the team with a range of skills? Very many firms do not have specialists in contentious probate or contentious trusts disputes. What is important is that you find a team who are dedicated to providing a quick, thorough and authoritative specialist service to those worried about their relatives or the financial exploitation or abuse of a will, trust or property.

Conflicts of jurisdiction

Very often complications can arise if a relative holds both an English/Welsh will and a will made in New Zealand and Australia. Equally, trusts created in England or Wales may conflict with deeds or arrangements over money or property made in other legal jurisdictions. Conflicts of jurisdiction can and often do arise surrounding the domicile of a person who holds assets in one country but dies in another country. We can assist resolve those difficulties.

Richard Nelson's office

Our Expertise

– Our team members are solicitors and Officers of the High Court of England and Wales.
– Our team is experienced and members are accredited by the Law Society of England and Wales.
– Our team has a member who is accredited by ACTAPS and affiliated to STEP.
– Our team has considerable experience in dispute resolution and considerable depth of knowledge and resource.
– Our team has a member who studied law with The University of Auckland – he was recently appointed to the Trust Law Committee of the Auckland District Law Society for a two-year term.

If you are seeking assistance with a will made in other UK jurisdictions, such as Scotland, we can refer you to a solicitor with the experience you need. Contact us if you have any questions or are unsure about anything regarding your situation.

What we do

– Disputed wills e.g. Under the Wills Acts of 1837 and 1963
– Disputed trusts
– Disputes relating to trust property
– The removal of executors and trustees and the appointment of independent administrators
– Financial abuse of the elderly or infirm whether committed by misuse of a Power of Attorney or not
– Cross-jurisdictional legal disputes regarding conflict of wills or trusts
– Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, 1975 (England and Wales Statute allowing certain relatives to claim against the estate of a deceased person)
– Claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, 1996 (English and Wales Statute regarding property ownership)
– Claims under the English and Welsh Statutes relating to the property and affairs of deceased persons

Specialist solicitors

Our multidisciplinary team is made up of specialists in a wide range of services, which means you'll always be represented by an expert in your area.

No-strings initial call

Get in touch to arrange a no-obligation, fully confidential call to discuss your case and work out if you want to continue.

Nationwide support

Speak to solicitors in one of our offices throughout England and Wales, or arrange calls and remote meetings.


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Use the form on the right to get in touch with our team and arrange an initial call to discuss your situation. We will use this no-obligation, fully confidential initial call to learn more about your case and help you understand your options going forward.

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