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Bringing a Claim against an Estate
Contentious probate disputes arise when the validity of a Will is challenged. Wills can be set aside on several grounds:-
- Lack of testamentary intention
- Lack of due execution
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Lack of knowledge and approval
- Undue influence
- Fraud and forgery
Even if a Will is valid, it may be still be possible to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. If the deceased has died without making a will or if a Will is valid, but it excludes someone who ought to benefit, then a claim could be made. It’s important to be aware that these cases are different to contentious probate disputes (when the argument is that the will is NOT valid). In Inheritance Act cases you accept that if there’s a Will, it’s valid – but you’re arguing that it doesn’t make “reasonable financial provision” for you.
Making an Inheritance or Will Dispute Claim
The Inheritance Act 1975 provides a route where someone that was financially dependent on the deceased at the time of death can make a claim. The case is on the basis that the deceased’s Will or intestacy does not make sufficient financial provision for them.
People who are eligible to make a will or inheritance case include:
- The spouse or civil partner of the deceased.
- Someone who has lived with the deceased during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the date when the deceased died, in the same household as the deceased and as the husband or wife of the deceased.
- A former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased (but not one who has formed a subsequent marriage or civil partnership).
- A child of the deceased.
- Any person (not being a child of the deceased) who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family.
- Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained either wholly or partly by the deceased.
The solicitors at Ridley & Hall have a wealth of experience and can identify the most effective way to pursue your inheritance dispute. We understand that the death of a loved one is a very distressing time and we pursue all of our cases with the utmost care and sensitivity.
Even if you’re unsure if you have a claim, do get in touch with our contentious probate team.
What our clients say:
The case concluded as hoped. I was at all times treated with courtesy, consideration and empathy by Sarah Young who was at all times professional yet approachable in all matters relating to a very complex case. I personally thank her on behalf of myself and children for the way she conducted my case which brought great relief and a most satisfactory conclusion and will help us move forward.
I would like to say a sincere thank you so very much for all your help in my recent troubles… I would not and will not hesitate to use you again if it was needed. Once again thank you Sarah for everything, especially whilst I was dealing with the death of my mother at the time. It was a pleasure to have met you, and have your guidance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have referred a number of contentious probate clients to Sarah and have found her to be professional, personable and extremely able. The clients in question have always been extremely satisfied with the work that Sarah has done for them. I would heartily recommend her to anyone seeking advice in this area.
My first meeting with Sarah Young was really great. She seemed to care about my situation and gave good advice on what we should expect throughout our case. My case has now come to an end thanks to Sarah. I would highly recommend her services to others in similar situations.