Contested Wills, Estates & Trusts
When someone close to you dies, it can be devastating. The situation is even harder if the family are in dispute over a Will or someone feels they’ve been treated unfairly.
Whilst many people believe they are entitled to leave their savings and property to whomever they choose, under the terms of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 certain individuals can make a claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’ from deceased person’s estate.
Aim of The Inheritance Act
These regulations were designed to protect those who have:
- Not inherited because there isn’t a Will;
- Been left out of a will entirely; or,
- Not been left as much as they need.
If it can be shown that reasonable financial provision has not been made in the Will, the Inheritance Act enables the court to change the terms of the Will.
Who Is Entitled To Make a Claim?
If you believe you’ve been unfairly left out of a Will or you are entitled to a greater share, you can make a claim.
To bring a claim under the Inheritance Act you must be either:
- A child/children of the person who has died;
- Those treated on a similar footing;
- A spouse or long term cohabiting partner; or
- An individual(s) who were being “maintained” by the deceased
A surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to financial provision as is reasonable in all the circumstances, ‘whether or not that provision is required for his or her maintenance’.
Anyone else is entitled to claim a reasonable amount for their maintenance, assuming the estate can provide it.
The time limit is set at six months from the date of grant of probate (or letter of administration if the deceased died with no valid will). This applies to all applicants, including minor children. In certain circumstance you can bring a claim out of time, but you must have sufficient grounds to do so.
We believe practical, straight-forward advice is particularly important when disputes involve family members. Whether you are looking for advice about making a claim or you need assistance to defend one, our lawyers are here to help.
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Maggie Eley – Wills 1
Shirley Bennett – Wills 2
W. H. Watmore -Wills 3
W. H. Watmore
Joanne Goldstein – Wills 4
T. King – Wills 5
John Harrison – Wills 6
Michael Eaton – Wills 7
Geoff & Sheila Watnall – Wills 8
Geoff & Sheila Watnall
Rita Welbourne – Wills 9
Debbie Spencer – Wills 10