Contentious Probate Settlement Offer Increased by 50%

Author:
Helen Hall
Dispute Resolution Associate Solicitor
Date:
30/07/2019

A Contentious Probate Case Study - Client Situation

Two sisters who weren’t on good terms with their late father at the time of his death had been excluded from his Will, with the Estate being left to their brothers.

There had been family issues when they were growing up, and after the sisters had children, they believed their father’s partner had turned him against them. However, at the time of his death, the sisters had been trying to rebuild a relationship with their father.

A brother and half-brother had been made Executors of his Will, but were reluctant to provide any information about the Will or Estate to the sisters, and made contradictory statements about what the Will said and what the value of the Estate might be. It was only after obtaining a copy of their late father’s Will that they learned they had been specifically excluded from it, due to the previous breakdown in their relationship.

How We Helped

The two sisters felt they were entitled to be recognised in their late father’s Will and to a share of his Estate. So they contacted our Contentious Probate Solicitors for legal advice and help.

We initially contacted the Solicitors who were acting for the brothers in administering the Estate and requested full information on its value. This was to enable us to advise based on all the circumstances if the sisters were likely to be able to challenge the Will under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

The Solicitors representing the brothers initially responded by alleging that the sisters had already accepted sums of money offered by the brothers, despite having no information on the value of the Estate.

Our Contentious Probate Solicitors persuaded the Solicitors representing the brothers that there was no concluded agreement and sought to negotiate a reasonable settlement, which the sisters were keen to conclude rather than pursue a claim through the Courts.

The Outcome

Our Contentious Probate Solicitors secured a settlement in which the offer made to each sister was 50% higher than the original offer.