Disputed Wills & Inheritance Act Claims
Most people believe that they can leave their property by will as they choose without any possibility of challenge, but this is not true.
A will may be disputed for various reasons, for example: that it was not executed properly or that the person making the will was not legally competent to do so at the time (increasingly common with so many cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).
Even if the will is proved valid, claims can be made by those with a reasonable expectation for provision who have been omitted or inadequately provided for.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 provides that an application can be made by:
- A spouse
- An ex-spouse (unless remarried or in new civil partnership)
- A child Someone treated as a child of the family
- Someone who cohabited with the deceased for at least 2 years before death
- Anyone who can prove dependency.
All of them are subject to various conditions and assessment of need, but you can see that there is a great deal of scope for a dispute over estates, which can be extremely distressing to the bereaved and also very expensive to litigate in the Chancery Court.
We have dealt successfully with many cases, involving UK and international assets and clients, including multiple clients in some cases, helping them to achieve a fair settlement without litigation wherever possible, but proceeding to Court if necessary.
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“Penny, many congratulations on winning the Lexcel award from the Law Society. The award which is well deserved for the excellent service your firm provides.”