Inheritance & Trust Disputes
However much care is taken in structuring one’s wealth, it is inevitable that some inheritances will be disputed.
This is especially true when individuals have complex extended families, which may include partners and children from previous marriages or other relationships.
Resolving these disputes requires not just knowledge of the law, but also highly developed soft skills, sensitivity and awareness. The parties are often emotionally stressed from the loss of a loved one as well as from the dispute itself. Reaching settlement involves finding the right balance of financial and emotional arguments for each person.
Disputes at the probate stage may challenge the validity of the will on various grounds:
The mental capacity of the deceased at the time the will was written
Undue influence of certain beneficiaries
Fraud or forgery
They are often the first of many disputes around an inheritance.
Even when probate is granted, the will or parts of it may be contested. Common challenges include trusts which limit the disposal of assets, or which distribute income to unexpected beneficiaries.
At C. P. Lin & Co. we address disputes holistically, focusing on the key issues which lies below specific legal claims. By addressing these core issues we reduce the risk of later challenges to any settlement or on alternative matters. A protracted inheritance dispute is rarely beneficial for any party. We regularly advise stakeholders of high net worth families on inheritance and probate disputes within complex asset holding structures.
Our clients include beneficiaries, executors, trustees and administrators. They may be either challenging or defending a will or trust.
Whatever your role, we share our experience and knowledge to deliver a positive outcome.
Recent matters we have handled include:
Representing administrators and executors of a high net worth estate for application at the Probate Registry of Hong Kong
Resealing of a complex grant of probate in Hong Kong and overseas, requiring highly technical liaison with overseas counsels and the High Court of Hong Kong
Devising complex trust arrangements to assist an executor in the settlement of an inheritance dispute