What can I do if I’ve been disinherited?
Under the law of England and Wales we are all free to make a Will leaving our property to whoever we wish.
However, the law also recognises that there may be people who are dependant upon us, or have a reasonable expectation of being financially provided for. Accordingly, there are legal safeguards in place for those who have been unfairly disinherited.
If you find that you have been disinherited then it is important to seek guidance from solicitors who specialise in this complex area of law. We have a team of six fully qualified lawyers, supported by a number of paralegals dealing exclusively with inheritance issues. We act for people nationwide and overseas.
When we look at a case involving someone who has been disinherited we will generally start by considering the Inheritance (Provision For Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This Act allows the courts to alter the terms of someone’s Will where it is fair and just to do so.
Only certain classes of people are protected under the Inheritance Act. These include wives and husbands, cohabitees, children and anyone who was financially dependant.
In addition to looking at rights under the Inheritance Act we will also consider whether the Will itself is valid. We are highly experienced in successfully challenging invalid Wills on grounds such as ‘Undue Influence’ and ‘Lack of Capacity‘.
Where someone has been cut out of a Will after being promised that they would benefit from an estate is to consider a proprietary estoppel claim. For such a claim to be made you must be able to show that you relied on the promise to your detriment and that it would be unfair for the promise not to be honoured.
Every case is different, so if you find that you have not received the financial provision under a Will that you were expecting then it pays to have your circumstances reviewed by expert solicitors who will be able to identify whether you have legal grounds to challenge the Will.