DISPUTES OVER INHERITANCE

When a friend or relative has died it is a difficult and emotional time as you come to terms with your loss and cope with your grief.

If that person made a will, they have set out who they want to inherit their assets or how they want their assets to be divided between family members or friends.  Sometimes, one of the beneficiaries may feel that they did not receive a large enough share of the estate or do not receive anything at all and they may be very disappointed.

In certain circumstances you may be able to challenge the validity of the will, and some people can make a claim for a larger share of the deceased’s assets under the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (the “Inheritance Act”).

If the deceased did not make a will at all, they died intestate.  This means that their estate will be distributed according to intestacy rules.  These rules do not include any provision for cohabitees and limit the amount that a spouse received.  Some people can make a claim for a share or a larger share of the deceased’s assets under the provisions of the Inheritance Act.

A claim under the inheritance act needs to be made within 6 months of the date that the Grant of Probate was issued.  If you believe that a will is invalid you can take steps to prevent anyone obtaining the Grant of Probate, by entering a caveat or a standing search at the probate registry.

For more information contact rw@startpointlaw.co.uk or telephone 01548 288008