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About Jessica

Jessica specialises in Will, inheritance and trust disputes. These include challenging the validity of a Will on the basis of lack of capacity and/or understanding of a Will, undue influence, failure to comply with the legal requirements for a Will to be valid, disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, proprietary estoppel claims and executor disputes.

Following the death of a loved one, Jessica appreciates it can be a very difficult time for family and friends, let alone having to deal with possible litigation, so she ensures that clients understand the issues at hand and explains their best options in a straight-forward, calm and practical way.

Jessica also advises on non-contentious private client matters, including the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and dealing with estate administration. Given her experience dealing with both contentious and non-contentious cases, Jessica is acutely aware of issues which may arise and can therefore proactively assist her clients in avoiding pitfalls.

Recent Experience

  • Pursuing an Inheritance Act claim for a client who had been married to his wife for around 25 years and had signed a pre-nuptial agreement before entering into the marriage. My client was a beneficiary of a discretionary trust, but there was a letter of wishes directing the executors to make limited provision for him and which could have resulted in him losing his home.
  • Defending a claim brought by my client’s two sisters challenging the validity of their mother’s Will and using the opportunity to negotiate my client being able to purchase her sisters’ share of her mother’s property for significantly less than its value.
  • Acting for two brothers who had been in partnership with their uncle running a farming partnership. Following their uncle’s death (he died without a Will and with no wife or children), there were delays and issues with the administration of the estate by their aunt, who also threatened to sale parts of the farm which were integral for the business. Further advice was required in respect of a proprietary estoppel claim following promises made to them by their uncle which would have resulted in them receiving a greater share of the estate.
  • Defending an Inheritance Act claim brought by my client’s three step-children. The matter was complicated by the fact my client and her husband had instructed solicitors in divorce proceedings and my client’s husband had given instructions for the preparation of a new Will the week before his death.
  • Advising clients in relation to a mutual Will claim, evidence of which was identified during investigations into the circumstances in which the Will was prepared.
  • Acting for a minor child and successfully defending an Inheritance Act claim brought by her father’s new partner who claimed to have been a cohabitee more than two years (a requirement under the Act) despite having only moved from separate addresses to a joint property a couple of months before his death and having provided conflicting information to the family court in her divorce proceedings.
  • Advising executors regarding the removal of a caveat which was delaying the administration of an estate, and where there was no basis to challenge the validity of the Will.
  • Challenging the validity of a Will where there were issues of mental capacity and where a neighbour had significant control over my client’s aunt’s finances and being heavily involved in the preparation of the Will.

Professional memberships

Studying for ACTAPS accreditation

Career Experience

2023 – present : Associate, Winckworth Sherwood

2020 – 2023: Associate Solicitor, Willans LLP

2019 – 2020: Solicitor, Porter Dodson LLP

2017 – 2019 : Trainee Solicitor, Lyons Davidson

2014 – 2017 : Paralegal, Lyons Davidson