23 October, 2020
Will disputes are becoming increasingly common due to changes in social norms, family structures, increase in elderly population, a rise in dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers and the increasing value of estates. Kirsty McNulty is an Associate at Forbes Solicitors specialising in Contentious Trusts and Probate, giving an overview of the various ways to contest a will or make claims against an Estate.
If you have been left out of family member or friend's Will, or if you do not think you have been left enough under a Will, then you may be able to make a claim for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
There are various classes of people that can make a claim including children, people treated as children (including step children), spouses and former spouses, and any person maintained wholly or partly by the Deceased before death (this could include wider family members, friends or partners).
There are a number of criteria which any potential claimant will need to satisfy, one of the most importance ones of which is being able to demonstrate a "financial need".
In some circumstances a Will may not be valid. There are a number of ways to contest a Will and challenge its validity:
In certain circumstances, a promise can be enforceable. If you were promised an inheritance and have not received it, and have relied on that promise to your detriment, then you may be able to make a claim. This is often dealt with under constructive trust or the doctrine of proprietory estoppel.
There are a number of ways to challenge a Will or make a claim against an Estate. We are flexible with fees and often pursue matters on a "no win, no fee basis" or defer fees to the end of the matter.
For more information contact Kirsty McNulty in our Contesting a Will department via email or phone on 01772 220 022. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.