Over the next few weeks I am answering some of the most frequently asked questions from clients.
Today’s question: “The Will left me nothing but looks valid. Is there anything I can do?”
Looks can be deceiving. An investigation in to whether the individual had sufficient mental capacity, knew and approved the will’s contents, and he or she was free from coercion, and that the will was executed properly, can sometimes unearth surprising evidence even if things look normal at first glance.
However, for the purpose of this question let’s assume the Will is a perfectly valid document. Certain categories of people may be able to bring a claim for financial provision against a deceased estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, known as 'the 1975 Act'. Current and former spouses and civil partners can claim, as can cohabitants if they lived with the deceased for a period of at least two years prior to the death. Children (including adult children) and those treated as children can apply, as well as anyone who was financially maintained by the deceased prior to the death. If you fall in to one of these categories and the Will (or intestacy if there is no Will) does not provide you with reasonable financial provision, the 1975 Act may be utilised to make funds or additional resources available to you. You should not delay in taking professional advice as short time limits apply within which a claim must be commenced. For further information bringing or defending claims under the 1975 Act and to find out how we can help you, please contact our Wills and Trust Disputes Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Daniel Winter, Associate Solicitor.
Nockolds Solicitors is delighted to announce that the firm has won ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for ‘Contested Trusts and Probate’ at The 2015 Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards. Click here to read more about the award: Lawyer Monthly - Nockolds