Turcan Connell is the leading firm in Scotland dealing with charities and succession law.

With many charities now receiving a large proportion of their income in the form of legacies, there is a need for expert, pragmatic legal advice where disputes arise.

Charities can spend years developing donor relationships and nurturing legacy prospects only to experience major hurdles prior to securing the funding promised. With increasing instances of Will disputes, there is often a need to take legal action to secure a bequest or to protect a charity's interests where a charitable legacy may be disputed either by family members or by other charities.

Charities and Contentious Probate

Our work for charities includes legal advice on contentious probate matters in relation to Scottish estates, such as:

  • Disputed legacies;
  • Mis-described legacies;
  • Claims by family members;
  • Incapacity;
  • General estate administration questions;
  • Issues around ex gratia payments; and
  • Property law matters.

Our charity solicitors also advise on matters where executors have exceeded their powers or have failed to carry out their duties, and on alleged malpractice by Scottish Solicitors.

Working with Charities

As well as advice at the point when legacies are notified to charities, our lawyers also advise on the reorganisation of legacies and gifts where conditions attached are no longer fit for purpose or have become inefficient or are no longer charitable.

Turcan Connell regularly works with charity clients to ensure that funds ring-fenced for their purposes are secured, be it through litigation or alternative dispute resolution methods.

How Turcan Connell can help you 

The contentious probate for charities team at Turcan Connell is headed by Peter Littlefield, with support from Gavin McEwan and our wider Charities Legal Team. Our team can also help with the creation or updating of legacy materials to ensure that they are up to date and in line with Scots law and UK tax law.

All charities should benefit from sound legal advice before embarking on a legacy campaign and Turcan Connell is pleased to offer our expertise in this area. Contact one of our specialists today.


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