Preventing successful claims against your estate

The High Court has recently ruled that a widow left out of her husband’s Will was to receive 50% of his estate. The Court found that the Claimant had not been adequately provided for in the Will.

Whilst those in England and Wales have the freedom to leave their estate to whom they wish, this case is a reminder that the right to make a claim against someone’s estate exists. Certain categories of family members to the deceased are afforded this right and not all are blood relatives. Even if some provision is made, a claim could still be brought if they feel the provision unreasonable.

Therefore, should you wish to exclude a family member from your Will, there are ways we can help you mitigate against a successful claim on your estate. Court proceedings often add further emotional distress to those who have lost a loved one. Furthermore, legal fees are costly meaning those who one intended to benefit will receive reduced inheritance.

How we can help:

We have a plentiful supply of experience when writing Wills. Using regulated professionals such as Hall Smith Whittingham to write your Will ensures its validity. If a Will is invalid, an individual’s estate will pass in accordance with the law as opposed to their wishes, meaning the person they wish to exclude may benefit by default.

We will always listen and document your reasoning for wanting to exclude a family member. This information will be stored safely alongside your Will. Documenting your reasons allows your voice to be heard and those affected may be able to understand your decision. Furthermore, should a claim be made against your estate, the document will evidence your decision helping to prevent a long complex legal battle.

If you require additional advice contact our team on 01270 212000 or 01270610300 or contact us via email here today to arrange a free, confidential and no obligation appointment to discuss with one of our solicitors any issues which you may have.