Inheritance Act case reaches settlement at a mediation
We specialise in Inheritance Act cases and in this case study we explain how we were able to negotiate a successful conclusion to a claim on behalf of a client who contacted us with only a week to go before the limitation deadline. If you are looking for solicitors with extensive experience of dealing with Inheritance Act cases then call our free legal helpline for a review and details of no win, no fee funding.
We accepted instructions from Mr B just one week before the time limit for his Inheritance Act claim was due to expire.
Mr B contacted inheritance dispute specialist, Naomi Ireson, as he was dissatisfied with his previous solicitors. He had instructed them to renew a caveat on his mother’s estate (to prevent a Grant from being issued) but they had failed to do so. Consequently, a Grant had been issued without his knowledge and the time limit for a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 had commenced.
Mr B and his mother had become estranged due to her conduct and behaviour towards him. His mother’s will left her entire estate to her nieces and nephews, to the complete exclusion of Mr B. The estate was of a reasonable size and valued in the region of £380,000.
Mr B was not in particular financial need, but neither were the beneficiaries. All of the parties to the claim were professional people in full time employment and with capital assets to their name. Mr B argued that his mother owed an obligation to provide for him due to their close relationship as mother and son in his earlier years and the contributions he had made towards the family house following his father’s death. Mr B explained that his estrangement from his mother was due to her conduct, not his own, and that he had attempted to establish a good relationship with her.
The defendants refused to extend time for the commencement of court proceedings, presumably in the hope that the tight deadline would be missed. However, we acted quickly to prepare the detailed evidence within the limited time available to issue the court papers. Having done so the defendants immediately saw that our client was serious and that his claim had merit. Sensibly they agreed to mediate.
There were six defendants in total. The case settled at mediation on the basis that Mr B received an equal share of the estate, plus his legal costs.