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Your options when left out of a will - heard of the Inheritance Act 1975?

Will document with fountain pen on topDealing with the profound loss of a loved one is an unquestionably challenging experience, and the weight of being excluded from their will can markedly deepen the emotional distress.

In these circumstances, acquiring a comprehensive understanding of your legal avenues emerges as a crucial step.

This article is thoughtfully crafted to provide you with practical insights and expert guidance, aiming to assist you in navigating the intricacies of inheritance disputes with clarity and confidence during this emotionally charged period.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Grounds for Claims

If you find yourself entirely omitted from a will, receive less than expected, or if the deceased left no will, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 may provide a legal avenue. This is particularly relevant in cases involving second families, where children from previous relationships might be overlooked. Unmarried couples with shared children also face complexities in the absence of a will.

Proactive Measures

To secure reasonable financial provision from the Estate, a claim under the 1975 Act must be initiated. The rise of modern family structures has made such claims more common, necessitating a nuanced understanding of this legal recourse.

Contesting a Will

Validity Concerns

Contesting a will is an alternative route if you suspect issues with its validity.

Common grounds for contesting include:

Lack of Mental Capacity: Asserting that the testator lacked the mental capacity to draft a will.

Undue Influence: Allegations that the will was made under coercion.

Forgery Concerns: Suspicions of a forged will.

Read: Can someone with dementia write their own will?

Complexities & Evidence

Challenging a will based on mental capacity entails the presentation of compelling medical evidence that substantiates the claim. Cases involving undue influence demand meticulous scrutiny, often necessitating the collection of testimonials. Allegations of a forged will require the specialised expertise of a handwriting analyst to meticulously assess the authenticity of the signature, ensuring a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the document.

Timing & Legal Guidance

The Challenge of Timing

While there's no strict time limit for contesting a will's validity, claims under the 1975 Act must be initiated within six months of probate grant. Timing is, therefore, a critical consideration, and swift action is advised.

Solicitor's Counsel

Given the intricate legal landscape, seeking legal advice at the earliest juncture is imperative. Engaging a solicitor ensures a clear understanding of your legal position, available options, and the necessary steps to protect your interests.

In the complex landscape of inheritance matters, exclusion from a will poses a substantial challenge. Whether you're considering the provisions of the 1975 Act or challenging the validity of a will, taking prompt and well-informed legal action is crucial. Consulting with a solicitor is a key step, providing clear guidance in a process that can be intricate and emotionally charged.

Read: What happens to your assets if you don’t leave a will?

Fonseca Law - your ally in inheritance matters

At Fonseca Law, we understand the emotional challenges tied to inheritance disputes. Whether you're considering a claim under the 1975 Act or challenging the validity of a will, our legal team is here to provide informed guidance and support. We recognise the importance of timely action and offer a compassionate approach to help you navigate your case.

To discuss your specific situation and explore your options, contact us today. Call 01495 303124, email, or complete our online contact form.