Why did I not benefit under my late fathers Will?
Regrettably, it is a sad fact that people forget to make / renew their Wills and key people who ought to benefit from the estate do not.
Unfortunately, without a Will, the primary position is that the new wife is automatically entitled to everything as your father’s next of kin. Depending on the relationship that you have with the new wife it may be that you can agree amicably between you, that you will both take a share of your father’s estate.
If you cannot agree, then as a child you can consider applying to the Court under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. A “child” also includes illegitimate, unborn, adult and adopted children. The Inheritance Act allows the Courts to consider whether reasonable financial provision should be made to you where a Will / intestacy (dying without having made a Will) fails to do so.
Depending on the circumstances of your matter there are certain factors that the Court will take into account including, but not limited to, the financial needs of you and the new wife, your age and the size of the estate.
If an application is going to be made you must do so within six months of the grant of probate / letters of administration so although this may be a distressing time you must act quickly.
For advice on this complicated area of law, contact the Gorvins’ Estates Disputes team.