The law in England and Wales gives certain people the right in some circumstances to make a claim upon a deceased person's estate. The law is governed by the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Such claims can be made, whether the deceased left a will excluding the claimant altogether, or where the will simply fails to make reasonable financial provision for the claimant.
The classes of people who can make a claim on a deceased person's estate are:
- their husband or wife
- dependant children
- a divorced spouse receiving maintenance
- a cohabitant of more than two years who is a dependant
Since the Civil Partnership Act 2004, people in single sex relationships are included in those who can make a claim.
Disputing wills and inheritance claims is expensive and time-consuming. Lawyers' fees can quickly build up and consume a large part of the value of modest estates.
However, we are always willing to discuss this type of case with you, so that we can assess the merits of the case and advise whether or not it may be worth pursuing.
The validity of a will can sometimes be challenged in the courts. Examples of wills that might be disputed are:
- a will created without following the correct legal procedure - there are strict rules about the manner in which wills are signed
- a will made under some form of compulsion or 'undue influence'
- a will made by someone lacking capacity to understand what they are doing when they are making the will
- forged wills (i.e. wills not actually signed by the person who has died).
Berry Redmond Gordon & Penney charge at an hourly rate, which is influenced by the following:
- The particular expertise and experience of the person dealing with the case
- The complexity of the transaction
- Whether the matter requires unusually urgent and swift action
- The time spent on the matter
We always give an estimate of the likely costs at the beginning of the matter, with regular updates as the matter progresses, so that you can always be certain of the costs involved in your particular case at any given time.
To find out more, call us now or fill out our enquiry form.
Legal fees are subject to VAT.