Inheritance Disputes: Has reasonable provision been made for you?
Partners and families being involved in an inheritance dispute are becoming more common due to the complex nature of how people invest in their future and due to people being more aware that the effect of a deceased’s Will can be challenged.
Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, specific individuals can claim provision from an estate. Claimants are typically children, cohabitants or dependants of the deceased for whom the Will (or the rules applying in the absence of a Will) makes inadequate provision.
Every Inheritance Act dispute varies depending on factors such as the size of the estate, those entitled to benefit from the estate and their needs. No two cases are the same, and the court considers everything in each individual case to make a determination.
Though it seems that Inheritance Act claims are a challenge to the Will or the rules of intestacy (in the absence of a valid Will), in fact, there is no challenge to the validity of the Will or the intestacy rules.
If the court makes an order for provision from the estate, this does not change the Will or the rules. Of course, it would mean less to be shared among those named in the Will or rules and so the challenges to such claims often comes from those whose share of the estate will be reduced. Disputes are therefore often emotionally charged by family and personal relationships.
There are several ways we can help get you the most satisfactory outcome in what will be a very emotional and challenging time for you and your family.
The majority of cases can be handled through mediation with the rest of the parties to the dispute being involved. A successful mediation saves a significant amount of money and time compared to a matter proceeding all the way to trial.
However, if the dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, we would be glad to represent you each step of the way as the court proceedings continue. In Inheritance Act disputes, it is usual for the losing party to pay the legal cost of the successful party. Therefore, we will advise you of your best options for settlement along the way to avoid the costly risks of losing at trial.
Luca Angarano, Litigation Associate, said: “Inheritance disputes are very often highly emotive due to family members both grieving over the loss over a loved family member and being in dispute over that loved family member’s Will. With our years of experience, we understand that these matters need to be handled with the utmost sensitivity and care.”
Luca said: “We balance understanding your emotions while being able to advise you objectively on the law to give you the best chance of reaching an early settlement on terms you agree. Over the years, we have helped numerous individuals settle these types of disputes, whatever their role in the dispute is.”
This article must not be construed as legal advice. All cases are different on their facts and you should consult with us directly on your case.