As specialist inheritance dispute solicitors one of the most common questions we get asked is 'what's my inheritance claim worth?'
Factors affecting the value of an Inheritance claim
This is invariably a difficult question to answer, as the value of a claim under the Inheritance Act depends on a variety of factors, including:
1. the value of the estate
2. your financial needs
3. the needs of other beneficiaries
4. the relationship between the you and the deceased
Free assessment of the value of your Inheritance Act claim
Because there is no set amount that you can expect to recover in an Inheritance Act claim, we offer a free case assessment service. This will enable us to look at the specific facts of your case and give bespoke guidance.
If you supply us with details of your case then we will offer guidance on what your inheritance claim could be worth.
Please bear in mind that in order to assess what your inheritance claim is worth we will need as much information as possible about the value of the estate, your financial position and the finances of any other party who is seeking a share of the estate.
Is it true that adult children are entitled to 10% of their parents' estate?
Over the last year or so, following on from the Supreme Court’s judgment in Ilott v The Blue Cross and Others, there have been a number of claims made by adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 which have been reported.
Cases such as Nahajec v Fowle (2017) have given rise to a suggestion that an adult child can expect to receive an award worth around 10% of the net value of their parents' estate. This is subject to the Court concluding that reasonable financial provision hasn’t been made for them.
However, because every inheritance claim is so fact specific and there are so many variables, the Judge who hears each case has to make a value judgment based upon the evidence presented to them at trial.
Indeed, in Ilott v The Blue Cross, the court said that the Judge who initially heard the case could have reasonably made any of these orders:
(i) to make no award to the Claimant,
(ii) to make an award in the region of £150,000, or
(iii) to make an award in the region of £50,000,
He actually chose the last of these 3 options, but the other two outcomes would not have been wrong.
So there is no binding precedent to support the 10% principle. Judges have an extremely wide discretion when exercising their judgment.
In a recent case, Lomax & Others v Greenslade (2018), which was reported for a slightly different reason, three adult children had brought Inheritance Act claims against their late father’s estate. A will had been left, making the defendant the sole executor and beneficiary of the £700,000 estate. The Judge decided to ensure the defendant received £69,000 (being £20,000 plus her legal costs), and divided the balance of the estate equally amongst the three adult children (circa £210,000 each). Clearly, the Judge considered the individual facts and merits of this case, making a value judgment which bears no resemblance to the 10% proposition.
How we can help you with your inheritance claim
If you are asking, 'what's my inheritance claim worth?' then please contact our Contentious Probate Team on 0808 139 1599 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org