In 2017 we wrote about the Ilott v Mitson case, where the Supreme Court upheld a claim against an estate brought by the long-estranged daughter of the deceased. It was widely predicted that the number of such cases would increase, and this has come about. Today came a report of a year-on-year increase of 47% in claims reaching the High Court.
Preventing a claim
Spouses, children and persons maintained by the deceased have a statutory right to make a claim, this cannot be excluded by the will or any other means. However steps taken when the will is being prepared can reduce the chances of a claim or assist in defeating one.
Handling a claim
Executors facing a claim are placed in a difficult position, and will need specialist advice in deciding what to do to protect the estate.
Pursuing a claim
Sometimes a claimant has every reason to feel that the will, or the rules of intestacy if there is no will, fails to make ‘adequate provision’ for them. Again anyone in that position needs specialist advice and there are important time limits which could defeat even a strong claim.