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Inheritance disputes

If you’ve been left out of a will, or believe a will or the intestacy rules do not leave you what you need, you may be able to claim under the Inheritance Act. With offices in London and Tunbridge Wells, Kent, our team of expert inheritance lawyers will resolve your inheritance dispute swiftly and effectively.

The death of a loved one is always traumatic. The impact can be particularly distressing if you were receiving or are in need of financial support from the deceased and no, or insufficient, financial provision has been made for you.

Individuals are free to leave their property and belongings to anyone they choose, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Inheritance Act”). However, the Court can direct that provision be made towards the maintenance of one or more individuals. Those potentially able to benefit under the Inheritance Act include spouses, civil partners, children and cohabitees.

How we can help you with an inheritance dispute

We work to understand your objectives and priorities, placing these at the centre of what we do. We will guide you through the process to ensure your claim is resolved on the best terms possible.

Our expert inheritance dispute solicitors, while based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and London, are frequently asked to represent clients based throughout England and Wales and internationally.

We will talk openly about fees and work with you to understand the best funding option for your inheritance claim. In appropriate cases, we can offer deferred payment and “no win, no fee” agreements.

All our inheritance dispute solicitors belong to the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists  (ACTAPS). The team and many individuals are top ranked in leading legal directories, including the Legal 500 and Chambers High Net Worth guide.

Our inheritance disputes solicitors regularly advise on:

  • claims by widows under the Inheritance Act;
  • Inheritance Act claims by minor or adult children;
  • inheritance disputes involving second marriages and step children;
  • tactics for settling an Inheritance Act claim at mediation;
  • inheritance claims where there has been a promise of an inheritance.

Meet the team

Our inheritance disputes experience

Frequently asked questions

This is a claim brought under the inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (‘the Inheritance Act’) alleging that a will or the intestacy rules does not leave you enough money. This is different to disputing the validity of a will. Instead of challenging the validity of the will, you ask the Court to vary it to give you a share or a larger share of the money.
Inheritance disputes can arise due to several underlying causes, all of which our team of specialist inheritance solicitors have years of experience advising on. Disparities in the distribution of assets can exacerbate tensions within a family, especially if there is a perception of unfairness or unequal treatment. Existing family conflicts and financial hardship within the family can also amplify the stakes involved in inheritance disputes and increase the likelihood of disputes over the fair division of assets.
In order to challenge a will under the Inheritance Act, you must fall within one of the groups specified within the Inheritance Act. These include spouses and civil partners, children, certain co-habitees and anyone dependent on the deceased.
If you are eligible to bring a claim, you need to show that the will (or the intestacy rules) does not leave you sufficient money to meet your needs. The Court does this by looking at which class of claimant you are and by reviewing all the facts of the case. Ultimately, each claim will be decided on its own merits.
There is a time limit for bringing an inheritance claim. While the Court can extend this in certain circumstances, a claim must normally be commenced within six months of the date of the grant of probate. It is important to obtain legal advice quickly if you believe you can bring a claim against the deceased’s estate.
The cost of undertaking initial investigations to establish the merits of your inheritance claim are modest. It will only be if the claim has sufficient merit that further costs will normally be incurred. Most inheritance claims do not reach trial. Most cases that have merit are settled by agreement before Court proceedings are commenced. We also regularly undertake inheritance claims under “no win, no fee” agreements.

Contact us

If you have a question or need advice, please let us know how we can help.