Inheritance Disputes?

We are often asked, what is an inheritance dispute?

There are many different types of claim which may come about as a result of a Will, Inheritance, or lack of provision.

Often these disputes come about because the will in the estate was done some time ago, and factors change within the family, which were not reflected in a revised will, to take effect of the changing dynamics within the family.

Often, they are made when simply no will has been made. This is not a definitive list of the types of disputes, but they can be broadly described within the following headings:

  • Claims by unmarried cohabitees where there is no will
  • Claims for reasonable financial provision by family or dependents which has not been reflected in the will
  • Rectification of errors in the wills, with supporting evidence
  • Disputes with, or between beneficiaries
  • Interpretation of ambiguous terms in a will
  • Disputes with, or between executors
  • Disputes relating to the Grant of Representation
  • Claims for promises which have been relied on to be met

In the industry reports, it has been suggested that in recent years the number of people contesting a will has dramatically increased, some of these disputes have attracted national media interest, with many high profile cases dividing public opinion, on the merits of being able to allow to challenge somebody’s final wishes.

Certainly as a firm, we have noticed a dramatic increase in people now contesting wills, as they have become aware of the ability for families to contest wills in appropriate circumstances.

There is now a succession of what is known as ‘case law’ which provides for the court’s decisions in relations to such matters.