Will I incur costs if I bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?

10 February, 2017

Will I incur costs if I bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?

A claim under the 1975 Act is a contentious process and both you and the other party will incur legal and court fees (‘costs’).

Once judgment has been reached in respect of the actual claim, the court has discretion to decide who should pay the costs incurred by the parties involved. It will decide whether each side should bear their own costs, whether costs should come from the Estate or whether costs should be paid by one party to another.

The general rule in a Will dispute claim is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party. However, the court can make a different order having considered all the factors of the case. For example the parties conduct both before and during the case, offers made by the parties and a refusal to engage in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation.

Most Will disputes are resolved before trial and, as part of any settlement, the parties will reach an agreement as to costs. For more information about settling claims see our sister blog’s recent blog post Settling a Professional Negligence Claim (the principles remain the same).

If you do consider bringing a Will claim, before taking action, your legal adviser should discuss all aspects of costs with you and consider issues including risk and proportionality and the availability of litigation insurance.

If you would like to discuss making a claim under the 1975 Act, please contact Philip Youdan at philip.youdan@crippspg.co.uk.  For further information about Will disputes and disputes involving trusts and estates please click here to view our Guide to Will Trust and Estate Disputes.. We can also discuss the possible options for funding your claim and may, in appropriate cases, be able to offer a “no win, no fee” arrangement or a fixed fee.