Two grandchildren succeed in inheritance claim against grandfather's estate.
We recently represented two grandchildren, aged 16 and 18, in an inheritance claim against the estate of their maternal grandfather, Mr E, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
The Inheritance Act claim was brought on the basis that immediately before their grandfather's death his grandchildren were being financially maintained by him. In particular, they relied upon his payment of their private school fees for four years prior to his death.
A significant complication was the fact that at the time of his death their grandfather was married to Mrs E who was pregnant with his daughter.
Their grandfather died intestate (without a Will), but Inheritance Act claims can still be brought against an intestate estate. His net estate was worth about £100,000. His assets were spread between England, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Hong Kong.
Mrs E received interim payments from the estate of around £40,000, therefore reducing the amount available for distribution.
The grandchildren were granted Legal Aid to pursue their inheritance claims and Court proceedings were commenced immediately as the claims had to be brought within the six month time limit.
Balancing the competing claims of the beneficiaries and dependants was not easy.The grandfather clearly had a moral obligation towards Mrs E and their young child and they too were in financial need. However, our young clients were also financially dependent on their grandfather.
After lengthy negotiations, both inheritance claims were settled with each of our clients receiving an award plus their legal costs in full and final settlement.