How do you resolve an inheritance conflict?

How do you resolve an inheritance conflict

Inheritance conflicts can be resolved through a variety of means including negotiation, without prejudice discussions and forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation. To discuss the best way of resolving your case, contact the inheritance dispute specialists for a free consultation. Call us on 0333 888 0407 or email brief details to us at [email protected]

In this short article we look at a question that our lawyers are often asked, ‘How do you resolve an inheritance conflict?’

Inheritance conflicts are becoming increasingly common in the UK. There are likely to be a number of complex social causes for this, but one driving force in our experience is the increase in value of the average estate. This is linked to wider home ownership and the rise in house prices. Another factor at play is the fragmentation of family structures, with second and third marriages now common and the rising number of blended families that result from this.

As lawyers, our advice is always to take active steps to avoid inheritance disputes arising. This will often involve discussing inheritance issues openly with family members and ensuring that a valid will is in place. But how do you resolve an inheritance conflict when one arises?

The first thing to consider is whether you need to consult a specialist lawyer. In reaching this decision you must take account of how serious the dispute is and the amount of money that is at stake. Clearly it will be far better to resolve the issue yourself if it is relatively minor or the sum in dispute wouldn’t warrant legal fees being incurred.

The obvious benefit of consulting a solicitor is that you will quickly find out exactly where you stand legally, enabling you to make informed judgments about how you should deal with the case. To make law affordable we offer no win, no fee funding. We are also always happy to provide a free case assessment, which can be a very good starting point.

When we become involved in an inheritance dispute we will always look at the most cost effective way of resolving it. Generally speaking we try to avoid court proceedings if we can as this does increase the burden of legal costs. So, we usually engage in correspondence with the other party to see whether a settlement can be reached. We also make use of ‘without prejudice’ communications.

Sometimes court proceeding are unavoidable; for instance when the opponent refuses to communicate with us or adopts an unreasonable position. We also occasionally have to issue court proceedings where there is a pressing time limit. However, even after court proceedings are commenced, settlement discussions can still take place and indeed most issued cases are resolved out of court.

We are keen advocates of all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, particularly mediation. Mediation is available at any stage of a dispute and involves the appointment of an independent mediator whose job it is to facilitate and broker a settlement. It is a voluntary and non-binding process, and we find that it has a very high success rate. Mediations generally take place at a neutral venue, but since the pandemic we have undertaken many ‘virtual mediations’ via the internet, which have been very popular with clients.

For further guidance on how to resolve an inheritance conflict call our free helpline on 0333 888 0407 or email us at [email protected]


How do you resolve an inheritance conflict?