Following a persons death, relatives, dependants and others can challenge someone’s Will. They can do this by going to court and claiming ‘reasonable financial provision’ from the estate. Equally, if someone dies ‘intestate’ (they don’t have a Will) and beneficiaries are not happy about their inheritance (often the lack of), they may be able to make a claim under intestacy rules.
There are a number of reasons why someone might want to claim against an estate.
Some of the most common reasons for a claim against an estate are:
- Lack of mental capacity – the person did not know what they were doing in giving away their property.
- Non compliance – the person did not comply with the legal requirements for making a Will.
- Undue influence or fraudulent calumny – the person was coerced or pressured into making the Will – or someone lied to them to get them to change their Will.
- Inheritance Act claims – you feel that the person who died should have provided for you.
- Promissory / proprietary estoppel – the person made you a promise which you relied on to your detriment, and they didn’t follow it through.
It’s a sad fact today, that many parents have children with whom they have a fractured relationship with, or no relationship whatsoever.
We are quite often asked what can be done to ensure that an “absent child” can make no claim against a client’s estate after their death.