Dealing with contentious probate cases can often require that extra level of expertise and support for your clients.


Drawing on our research and years of experience we have created the IDR Network, a free referral and support network.

The IDR Network or IDRN for short, has been designed to provide you with the latest information, support and training when it comes to dealing with inheritance disputes.

Along with step-by-step guidance and collaboration when referring clients for specialist representation.







Probate Administration & Will Writers

Many estates and wills that are dealt with are non-contentious, therefore no claim has been made and there is no challenge facing the process.

However, with what we have seen in the rise of these types of disputes they can come along and when they do the issue facing you and your client can seem like a bit of a minefield.

Dealing with these matters daily means we understand the complexity they can bring, which can add unnecessary pressure when administering an estate.

By combining our technical ability with a pragmatic and caring approach we can help reduce that pressure.

Supporting you and your clients


As contentious probate lawyers we see things from a different perspective and are often asked to provide bespoke training to our external contacts and referrers.

Whilst many non-contentious services are provided without issue, it can be difficult to navigate requests for information after a Will is disputed, or to manage the administration of an estate in the face of a potential challenge.

We can offer support on how to be prepared for such obstacles and how to approach matters so that they do not arise in the first place.


‘I liked Martin Holdsworth’s presentation very much – realistic, humorous and engaging.

It was interesting to hear about the complexities of human nature – a fascinating scenario that made us care about the outcome.’

Will Writer

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At a glance

Collaborative working

Tailored training

Genuine reciprocity

The IDRN has been set up to support you and your clients.


‘As our referral network grew we could see that we needed to make everything we had to offer available to all of our referrers all of the time – the IDRN was a way of bringing together all the direct help to them in one place’

Martin Holdsworth, Founder IDR Law

IDRU, a ‘university’ style online learning platform, developed to provide internal ongoing training to our own team. We extend the offer to our IDRN members, find out more about our CPD training, webinars and much more.

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Recommended reading from the IDRN

There are a number of issues that may arise in relation to trusts and their operation as well as their management.
Here are some examples of problematic situations that arise with trusts:

1. Issues with trustees

There are a number of circumstances that may arise which may raise concerns for the beneficiaries as to the
management and operation of the trust. These concerns may include conflicts of interest, bias, poor management, lack of
communication, or personal gain from a position of power.
Please see our factsheet on removal of trustees and trustees duties, powers, and responsibilities for a more in-depth insight
into the kind of issues that may arise in this context.

It may also be the case that an appointed trustee has either passed away, lost capacity or wishes to step down and an
additional trustee is now required. The process for dealing with this is less complex but onerous nonetheless.

2. Breach of trust

This may arise where the trustee has failed to correctly follow the terms of the trust document which has resulted in an
undesirable or wrongful outcome for one of or all beneficiaries or the assets…


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Unfortunately, inheritance related disputes are common in modern society. Changing family structures mixed with
an increase in personal wealth within the older generations, and an increased cost of living, have meant more
people are looking to rely on an inheritance for their retirement.

This fact sheet has been created to guide you through the process if you are an Executor or Personal
Representative and someone has said they want to make a claim.

How do I know they have a claim and they aren’t just chancing their luck?

There are a number of ways to legally challenge a Will or bring a claim against an Estate. The following is a nonexhaustive list:

– The Will was incorrectly signed;
– The deceased person did not know or approve of the content of their Will;
– The deceased was put under extreme pressure (more that just mere persuasion) to change or make a Will;


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In accordance with Section 1(1)(b) of the 1975 Act, former spouses and civil partners are able to bring a claim against
the deceased’s estate, provided they have not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership.

What is a Former Spouse?

A former spouse is defined as a person who had been married to the deceased but subsequently ended that marriage
by divorce (by way of a decree absolute being issued) or annulment during the deceased’s lifetime.

What is a Former Civil Partner?

A former civil partner is defined as a person who had entered into a civil partnership with the deceased but
subsequently ended that civil partnership on dissolution or annulment during the deceased’s lifetime.
The full definition for both former spouses and former civil partners is contained in section 25(1) of the 1975 Act.

Can anyone who is a former Spouse or Civil Partner claim?

The short answer is no.

There are a number of factors that need to be considered to establish whether a former spouse or civil partner can
bring a claim. In particular:

– Have they remarried or entered into a new civil partnership?
– Did the parties resolve their finances on divorce, dissolution or annulment in such a way that prevented any claim
under the 1975 Act?

If the answer to the first question is yes, the person will be unable to bring a claim as a former spouse or civil partner.
They may, however, be able to bring a claim under another heading (such as being maintained by the deceased’),
depending on the circumstances…


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Find out more about the IDRN and watch our mini explainer film.

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