The cost of making an inheritance claim

 What does it cost to make an inheritance claim?

We specialise in dealing with inheritance disputes nationwide. We offer a variety of funding options, including No Win – No Fee. Contact us for free initial guidance on 0333 888 0407 or email [email protected]

What is an inheritance claim?

Any disagreement regarding a deceased’s estate that results in legal action being taken can be classified as an inheritance claim. Inheritance claims frequently arise when someone has been left out of a will, or has not received the legacy they were expecting.

The most common legal claims in these situations are challenges to the validity of a will, or bringing an Inheritance Act claim. Inheritance disputes can also include disagreements between executors and beneficiaries, or disputes over the value of the deceased’s estate’s assets.

The cost of an inheritance claim

With the cost of living on the rise, the legal fees of an inheritance claim will certainly not be factored into our monthly budget. The prospect of incurring legal costs can be overwhelming and stressful, particularly when the outcome is uncertain. Matters are further complicated by the fact that it can often be difficult to provide an accurate estimate for the overall costs of making a contentious probate claims. As each claim is different and unique, the costs will depend on the nature of the dispute, the number of parties involved, the size of the estate and whether complexities arise. Additionally, the approach adopted by the opponent can also affect the costs that are incurred.

Who pays the legal costs?

The general legal principle is that “the loser pays the winner’s cost’’. However, the court has a wide discretion regarding costs and will look at whether offers have been made to settle the claim over the course of the dispute and whether mediation has been considered.

The costs orders open to the court include:
1. one party paying the other party’s costs in full, or in part;
2. both parties’ costs being covered by the estate; or
3. each party paying their own costs.

Slee Blackwell’s funding options

Most solicitors will expect you to pay the legal costs as the case progresses. However we have developed two additional options for funding an inheritance claim:

No Win, No Fee

If the merits of your claim are good then we will be happy to look at working on a No Win, No Fee basis.

No Win, No Fee funding is very attractive for people who do not have the financial resources to fund an open-ended legal challenge.

We offer two types of No Win, No Fee funding:

  1. a) Conditional Fee Agreements; and
  2. b) Damages Based Agreements.

In both cases you do not have to pay us for the work we undertake on your behalf if you do not win your inheritance claim.

Investigatory work on a Limited Fee basis

In order to determine whether an inheritance claim is strong enough for us to work on a No Win, No Fee basis, it is sometimes necessary for initial investigations to be carried out.

If this work has already been undertaken by you, or by another solicitor, then we will be happy to consider it.

If there is basic investigatory work that still needs to be done then we offer a Limited Fee service under which we undertake specific steps for a fixed fee

The type of investigatory work we typically carry out under our Limited Fee scheme includes:

  • obtaining the working file of a solicitor who prepared a disputed will;
  • obtaining a Larke v Nugus statement;
  • entering a caveat;
  • obtaining the deceased’s medical records;
  • speaking to witnesses of the disputed will;
  • writing to your opponent;
  • Obtaining an expert’s report from a doctor or a handwriting specialist.

Once the investigatory work has been carried out we will be happy to consider whether we are able to proceed with your inheritance claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Free legal helpline

We will be happy to assess your case free of charge and identify your funding options. You can call our free legal helpline on freephone 0333 888 0407 or contact us by email.



The cost of making an inheritance claim