Inheritance claims can be made by somebody who ought to have been provided for by somebody’s estate. A claim can be made whether or not there is a Will. The Court’s remedy is discretionary and therefore careful consideration has to be given to the merits and potential value of any claim. This includes the value of the estate, conflicting claims against the estate and the likely costs of any proceedings. A successful claimant will have thier costs paid out of the estate. We have acted for all kinds of different claimants as well as defending estates against such claims.
Will disputes relate to matters as to whether a Will has been effectively made or, in serious cases, whether it has been forged. Such cases are invariably complex and costly. Expert evidence will be needed, for example, medical evidence concerning the testator’s state of mind. Further evidence is likely to be required from people who knew the deceased and you may have to act quickly to obtain the necessary evidence.
We recognise that in such cases feelings run high and establishing the truth can become more important than the mere commercial outcome.
An unmarried partner of someone who dies without leaving a will has no right to that person’s estate. The same applies to a same sex partnership where the parties are co-habiting without the benefit of a 'Civil Partnership'. Nevertheless, such partners can be considered as having an entitlement to the deceased’s estate.
A dependant can also make a claim against a deceased’s estate. This will apply even if the deceased made a will but failed to consider the requirements of a dependant.
As a beneficiary under the terms of a will you may want to know more about your rights, or you may be a beneficiary under a trust deed, which can be very complex. Often disputes arise with other beneficiaries or with the trustees over the interpretation of a trust deed.
In some instances the validity of a will can be challenged. This can have significant consequences in terms of who will ultimately benefit.
Our expert team in Harpenden can help to identify what rights you have and help you to achieve a just resolution. If your objectives cannot be achieved through negotiation or other means of dispute resolution we can act for you in court proceedings.