Posted on 4.5.22 by Danielle Clements
When it comes to matters of inheritance, matters can quickly become complicated when there is a dispute as to how the estate should be divided. In these instances, the court will consider the merit of the different claims before rendering a decision.
Of course, where proper care has been taken to draft a will, you reduce the risk of complications during probate. However, there are always circumstances where the courts may consider a dispute even where a will is in place.
This is because of the fact-specific nature of the Inheritance act. To be more specific, the court will look at the specifics of the case to consider whether there is merit to the dispute. To demonstrate this, we’re going to look at a Gorvins case study.
Gorvins acted for Party A concerning a claim against the estate of party A’s deceased parent (B). This was an unusual case in that B had died leaving an extremely large estate and B and A had never had a relationship. By the time B died, A was an adult who hadn’t received any financial support from B during their lifetime.
A claim was issued by A under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, seeking a lump sum payment from B’s Estate to meet their financial needs for the remainder of their life. The size of B’s Estate played a very big factor in this case. Had the estate been for a much smaller sum, then owing to B being an adult child who had no relationship with B during their lifetime, their case may not have been successful.
The Fact-Specific Nature of the Inheritance Act
However, Inheritance Act claims are very fact-specific and are looked at very much on a case-by-case basis. The executors and beneficiaries of B’s estate, in this case, were amenable to reaching an agreement on terms whereby A received a smaller lump sum payment upfront followed by a yearly income from the estate of a fixed amount until A’s death.
As a result, the money from the estate would supplement any that A was already receiving and should in essence absolve A of any future financial difficulties and enable them to meet any debts or liabilities.
A Great Result For Our Client
This was an extremely good outcome for A. It demonstrates how the varying different factors that the parties and the court have to consider under the Inheritance Act provisions and how they can alter the outcome of such cases.