Disputes relating to the lack of financial provision made by the deceased under the terms of their will or by the intestacy rules, arise frequently. This is because of the increase in second families and very frequently, because the deceased failed to appreciate the moral obligation that they are expected to make to their family, be that former or present when they die.
The courts can be invited to intervene in such cases. There is only a limited category of individuals that can make such an application and we can help you in either asserting or defending such actions. These type of claims are dealt with by and act know as ‘The Inheritance (Provision For Family and Dependants) Act 1975’. There are very strict timescales in dealing with an application and we can ensure that this is actioned.
The essence of such applications are that the deceased did not make adequate financial provision either in their will or because of the operation of the intestacy rules.
It might be surprising to know that if you lived with the deceased as a cohabitee, that the intestacy rules will not protect you in any way. Unless you have jointly owned assets you will need to make a claim under this act if the deceased leaves you with nothing. A house that was held in joint names will pass to the surviving party provided there was no tenancy in common. The act may help you with this.
We can assist all parties that might become involved in such disputes, including a claimant or an executor. It may also be an interested beneficiary who is brought into the action because they are simply named in the will.
It has to be remembered that these matters also follow a strict court procedure and that thankfully most cases do settle without judicial intervention. However if any party to the dispute is under 18 years, any agreement that is reached will need to be approved by the court. If the terms of any settlement are negotiated correctly the court will likely approve the terms without any problem.
We have considerable expertise in this area and will assist you from start to finish. The documentation of a settlement is essential to give clarity and security for the future and we will ensure that it is structured to give you the maximum protection whether you are an executor or applicant.
For more information about financial disputes, please contact our team.