Protecting your property and legacy with our contested probate expertise.
Safeguarding your home and assets
Often your main asset will be your home.
When a loved one dies, they may not have considered or put plans in place for how that property should be treated. It may be that they did not update the Title Deeds before they died, or they made a promise to someone that the property would be theirs but failed to update their will. It is not uncommon for the deceased to have held property is places other than the UK. This can become quite complicated, especially when a dispute arises over estate assets. Our Contested Probate team are well versed in dealing with multi-jurisdictional assets.
It is not uncommon for disputes to arise when it comes to an asset as large as a property. It may be appropriate to explore a claim for proprietary estoppel or some kind of trust.
Proprietary estoppel claims are used to create a proprietary interest in land (or a property) in the absence of the correct formalities (such as a will). It may be the case that you were promised the whole or a share of a property, but the owner has since died and failed to make any provision for you in their will or they have died without a will entirely.
If you wish to make the claim you will have to show that:
There was an unambiguous promise made to them;
That they relied upon that promise to their own detriment; and
That it would be unconscionable or unjust for the other party to fail to carry out the promise.
Each individual matter is different and so it is not always clear from the outset whether a proprietary estoppel claim is the best option for you. As an alternative, you may wish to establish your interest in the deceased’s property by way of a trust.
Resulting trust claims
A resulting trust arises when although a property is held in the legal name of another person (the deceased), someone else (the claimant) has a beneficial interest in the property because they have contributed to the purchase price.
Constructive trust claims
A constructive trust arises when the legal title of a property does not reflect the true intentions of the parties. It could be that the deceased owned the property in their sole name, however you have contributed to the mortgage payments for a sustained period of time or spent money renovating the property, for example.
Whether you are thinking about making a claim relating to the deceased’s property, or you are perhaps looking to defend a claim against the estate, our specialist Contested Probate team can guide you through your options and advise you on how best to proceed.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact us.
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