What to do if your parents disinherit you?

Our latest inheritance dispute success provides some interesting insights on what to do if your parents disinherit you.

We are often asked what to do if your parents disinherit you. Under English and Welsh law, parents are free to disinherit their children if they wish. There are no forced heirship rights that are common in other jurisdictions. However, there are still legal steps that disinherited children can take, as this case study illustrates. Our recommendation in these situations is therefore always to consult a specialist inheritance lawyer for advice. We operate a free inheritance helpline which you can call or email for guidance.

In this case Sarah Coombs, a solicitor in our contentious probate team, reached an out of court settlement after her client was disinherited by her father. He had not made any provision for his daughter in his Will, preferring instead to leave everything to his surviving partner.

Sarah made the claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 against the father’s estate. The Inheritance Act allows children who have been disinherited by their parents to make a claim on the basis that they are in need of reasonable financial provision.

Our client had been estranged from her father for some time, and while this is not in itself a bar to bringing an Inheritance Act claim, it is a factor that the court will take into account. Furthermore, although the daughter had debts, she was financially self-sufficient. There were concerns therefore that she might struggle to establish that she had a significant enough level of financial need.

Her late father’s partner robustly defended the inheritance claim. Nevertheless, Sarah was able make out a strong enough case to secure a settlement through negotiation, without the need to issue court proceedings.

Sarah dealt with the claim under a no win, no fee funding agreement, which meant our client incurred no upfront legal cost in securing this positive outcome.

So, for free guidance on what to do if your parents disinherit you, contact our free legal helpline. Call 0333 888 0407 or email us at [email protected]


What to do if your parents disinherit you?