Inheritance Disputes – the importance of making a Will!

According to the research published by the Royal London almost half of the homeowners (44%) in the UK did not have a written will in February 2020.  By 22 May 2020 there were 43,837 deaths registered in England & Wales involving COVID-19, as reported by the Office of National Statistics on 2 June 2020.  Where the deceased left no clear instructions as to how their property should be distributed when they die, it can lead to inheritance disputes.

When a person dies without a will (intestate), their estate will be divided in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. Some of the persons specified within the Rules may be someone the deceased did not get on with during their lifetime.  It also means that if the deceased was in a relationship but was not married, their unmarried partner will not be provided for under these rules. Rules of Intestacy are different in England & Wales from those in Scotland and Northern Ireland; which rules will apply depends on the location of the deceased’s estate.  

If you are left out of the deceased’s estate but you think you ought to receive something (for example because you were dependent on them financially or because they made a promise to you on which you relied to your detriment), not all is lost.  In certain circumstances, the law allows to bring an inheritance claim against the deceased’s estate.  However, there is a very strict time limit to do so and it is important to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.

If you have been left out of a will, or you are an unmarried partner of the deceased who died without a will, or you would like to dispute the validity of a will – you can contact us through this website or call us on 01823 251571 or send e-mail taunton@risdonhosegood.com  to discuss how we can assist you.