Losing a loved-one is always an emotionally challenging time. The last thing you need is the additional stress and worry about a dispute or problem surrounding their will, trust or estate.
Pursuing your fair share
Disputes over an inheritance can arise for many reasons. It could be because the inheritance does not provide sufficiently for dependants or other close family members left behind, or when other parties contest the will or make a claim on the estate.
If you do not believe that you have been sufficiently provided for in the will or under the intestacy rules (if the person died without a valid will in place), you could potentially have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for ‘reasonable financial provision’ from the estate.
Claims for ‘reasonable financial provision’
To be eligible to make a claim, you will need to fall into one of the following categories:
A current spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
A former spouse or civil partner of the deceased (but not if you have formed a subsequent marriage or civil partnership);
A child of the deceased;
A person who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family; or
Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained in some way by the deceased.
In order to make a successful claim, you must show that you have not been given ‘reasonable financial provision’. There is no exact formula to work this out so the court will take into account many different factors, including (but not limited to) the size of the estate; the deceased’s wishes; the deceased’s obligations towards the claimant; the claimant’s financial needs and the financial needs of the other beneficiaries.
We are able to assess the merits of your claim, or a claim that is being made against the estate and offer advice tailored to your circumstances.
If you are thinking about preparing or amending your will, you might want to consider whether there is a likelihood of a dispute arising over your estate. You may wish to take legal advice on the steps that you can take to try to avoid a claim being made in future. Alternatively, our Contested Probate team can offer you expert guidance on your prospects of successfully making or defending a claim.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact us.
Alastair Goggins is experienced, helpful and friendly. He communicates clearly and is excellent at explaining options and likely chances of success.
You have guided us with kindness, care and concern and above all provided constant reassurance with your brilliant knowledge and advice - we could not have asked for more. Thank you so much for everything that you have done for us.