What to do if you have been excluded from a Will

Making a claim for provision from an estate

Claiming if you've been excluded from a will or when someone has died intestate

If you have expected to inherit after the death of a loved one, but things turn out rather differently you are bound to be left with many questions.

Dealing with inheritance disputes requires both a combination of legal knowledge and the ability to handle a difficult, personal dispute. We aim to make things simple for you. Our promise is to be attentive to your circumstances whilst having the tact and legal knowledge required throughout.

Who can make a claim against an estate?

The law sets out several types of person who can apply for a court order to be provided for by an estate. If you're:

  • The spouse
  • A former spouse who hasn't remarried
  • A child
  • A step child by marriage
  • Anyone else who was being maintained by the deceased up until their death

I'm separated from the deceased but not divorced, what am I entitled to?

Quite often if an inheritance claim is made by the separated spouse of the deceased, the courts will make an order which is similar to a divorce settlement. This means that you can get a financial settlement that is of similar size to a divorce settlement.

What if they didn't leave a will?

If someone dies without leaving a valid will they are legally known to have died intestate. The intestacy rules then dictate how the estate is distributed. The problem with the intestacy rules is they often don't reflect the personal circumstances of a family, such as whether children or a spouse had or needed more financial support than their siblings.

In situations like this, it can be appropriate to make a claim against the estate to be provided for under it. Sometimes this can be done by the agreement of the family, but it's important to tread carefully to avoid family disputes.

Do I have to go to court?

You don't always have to go to court to get provision made for you. Sometimes, we can offer mediation as a way to resolve the dispute without the stress or costs of going to court.

Mediation can often be a swifter and more sensitive way to resolve disputes, it avoids the damage that can be caused by a long, drawn out court battle.

Get in touch for a chat about how we can help you by filling in our quick, no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on freephone: 0808 129 3320.

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Robert Godfrey | Partner, Dispute Resolution | Simpson Millar LLP

Robert Godfrey
Partner, Dispute Resolution

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