Inheritance Act claims

The death of a loved one is always traumatic and the impact can be particularly distressing if you were receiving or are in need of financial support from the deceased and no, or insufficient, financial provision is made for you under their Will.

 

Whilst individuals are generally free to leave their property and belongings to anyone they choose, in some cases, you can dispute a Will. One way of disputing a Will is by claiming it is not valid. Click here to go to our page which explains challenging a Will in this way in more detail.

 

However, certain categories of people can also dispute a Will which does not leave them enough money. This type of Will claim is referred to as an Inheritance Claim. It is different to disputing the validity of a Will – instead of challenging the validity of the Will, you ask the Court to vary it to give you a share or a larger share of the money. The rules for making an Inheritance Claim come from the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Inheritance Act”).

 

Can I bring an Inheritance Claim?

In order to challenge a Will under the Inheritance Act, you must be within a group specified within the Inheritance Act. Those that are able to dispute a Will under the Inheritance Act include spouses and civil partners, children, certain co-habitees and anyone dependent on the deceased.

 

What do I need to show to succeed with an Inheritance Claim?

If you are eligible to bring a claim, then you need to show that the Will (or the intestacy rules) does not leave you sufficient money to pay for your needs. The Court does this by looking at which class of claimant you are and by reviewing all the facts of the case. Ultimately, each claim will be decided on its own merits.

 

Is there a time limit to bring my Inheritance Claim?

There is a time limit for bringing an Inheritance Claim – whilst the Court can extend this in certain circumstances, a claim must normally be commenced within six months of the date of the grant of probate. You should therefore obtain legal advice quickly if you believe you can bring a claim against the deceased’s estate.

 

How much does an Inheritance Claim cost?

People worry about the cost of taking a Will dispute to Court. However, depending on the facts of each case, the cost of undertaking initial investigations to establish the merits of your inheritance claim are much more modest. It will only be if the claim has sufficient merit that further costs will normally be incurred.

 

Furthermore, most inheritance claims do not reach trial. Instead, most cases that have merit are settled by agreement before Court proceedings are commenced.

 

We also regularly undertake inheritance claims under “no win, no fee” agreements.

 

How can we help you?

Our specialist inheritance and will dispute lawyers have a depth of experience and we work with our clients to resolve their claims on the best terms possible.

 

We are one of the largest and most experienced teams of Will dispute solicitors in the country and we have successfully dealt with all manner of inheritance disputes – including many instances where our clients believed there was no prospect of reaching a settlement.

 

As all our solicitors belong to the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists, you will be looked after by an expert. We guide you through the process step by step.

 

We understand that, for many of our clients, disputing a will is a last resort. We also appreciate you may want to stay in touch with those involved in the dispute afterwards. You can rest assured we will handle your inheritance dispute with care and sensitivity.

 

We listen to your instructions carefully and arrange payment terms that suit your circumstances; in many cases we offer fixed fees, deferred payments, or no win, no fee terms.

 

Our lawyers are based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and in London. Whilst many of our clients are from the South East (including Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London), we act for clients based throughout England and Wales and from abroad. We are always willing to meet with our clients at any of our offices or at home or their place of work. We also meet with clients via online communication channels, such as Skype or video conferencing. Wherever our clients are based, we ensure we communicate with them in a way that suits their needs.

 

Call us for a free no obligation consultation.

  • inheritance act
  • inheritance act claims
  • settling inheritance act claims
  • defending an inheritance act claim
  • promise of inheritance
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