Making an inheritance claim when you can’t find a Will

Can’t find a Will? Want to make an inheritance claim? For free guidance on what to do give us a call. We offer a free case assessment service and no win, no fee funding. Call 0333 888 0409 or email us at [email protected]

Can’t find a Will, but want to make in inheritance claim? Read this case study of a successful Inheritance Act claim that was made when a Will could not be found.

His daughter wanted to challenge the will and appointed us to represent her in the inheritance dispute.

It was the daughter’s case that the Will was not the deceased’s last Will. He told her on several occasions that he had executed a later Will which made provision for her.

Unfortunately, the daughter could not find her father’s later Will, despite extensive searches. In the absence of locating a later Will the courts would insist that his estate be administered in accordance with the earlier Will.

We therefore advised the daughter to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

The daughter’s claim was based upon:

  • her financial need for provision;
  • the wife’s lesser need for provision;
  • the estate being of a sufficient size to make provision for her;
  • her disabilities; and
  • her father’s conduct in promising her provision from his estate which had created an obligation and responsibility upon him to make financial provision for her.

Court proceedings were commenced, but the inheritance claim was settled out of court by negotiation.

This is a good example of a classic scenario where a parent promises a child provision from their estate, but on their death it becomes clear that their Will is either out of date or at complete odds with the assurances.

Whilst our client’s father may have felt he was doing the right thing by making such promises and not causing a family dispute during his lifetime, it highlights how important it is for anyone making a Will to ensure that all parties are aware of their true intentions to avoid a legal dispute arising.

On this occasion a settlement was agreed before the case came to court, but where a claim goes to trial there is always the danger that the legal costs will consume a large part or even the entire estate.

The case also highlights the importance of making sure that your will is kept in a safe and accessible place and that someone you trust knows where to find it. At Slee Blackwell our Wills and Probate administration team offer to store Wills completely free of charge.

If you can’t find a Will and wish to contest an estate or would like guidance on making an Inheritance Act claim then contact our helpline for a free assessment. Call us on 0333 888 0409 or send an email to [email protected]


Making an inheritance claim when you can’t find a Will