Today's Wills and Probate Podcast

The five most expensive words in the English language

The five most expensive words in the English language – “it’s a matter of principle.” Because principles cost money. And this increasingly plays out across contentious private client matters, in inheritance and probate disputes.

Joining host David Opie on the latest Today’s Wills and Probate Podcast is Hayley Gaffney, an associate at Coodes Solicitors and member of the firm’s contentious probate team.

She discusses the increasing number of claims she is seeing, reflective of the wider sector; and the drivers behind these, including societal issues, blended and complicated families, and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic which is starting to see the predicted rise in claims.

Hayley explores her own caseload and advice to clients around trying to remove emotion from matters, avoiding diving straight into litigation, advising clients of the merits of cases and managing expectations, and considering the commercial implications. She highlights the use of mediation as a great way of creating flexibility in decision making and find solutions that think outside the box.

Hayley is also a big advocate for knowledge sharing with non-contentious practitioners, both internally in the firm, and externally through forums like this podcast, and using cases as pointers for how to pre-empt issues that come up in her caseload. She points to a number of recent cases in which the individual who had drafted the disputed will has ended up in the witness box in court; and provides some thoughts on what will writers and solicitors could be doing to protect themselves and their clients.

The Today’s Wills and Probate podcast is available on your preferred podcast provider, and at www.todayswillsandprobate.co.uk. Subscribe today to hear all the latest news and views across the wills and probate sector.

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