Can I contest my parent's Will?
Many people would presume that, when their parents die, they will receive most – if not all – of their Estate. A person’s Estate is usually made up of any property that they owned at the date of their death, their money in bank or savings accounts, stocks and investments that they held, less any liabilities, such as mortgages, loans, credit cards, and testamentary expenses.
In some cases, a person may inherit less from their parents than what they had expected. Other people will know exactly what they are going to receive, perhaps having been told by their parents during their lifetime or having dealt with their parent’s finances as their Attorney (you can read more about what an Attorney is on our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors’ page, here).
Our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors in Lancaster and Preston have, on more than one occasion, been contacted by a person whose parent has not left them anything whatsoever in their Will. In one such case, the deceased parent had allegedly promised their child that they would receive compensation for money that was spent during their lifetime (through a family business), however, in their Will, there was no such gifts made.
Whilst it can seem frustrating for a person to be excluded from benefiting from their parent’s Estate, a recent High Court case has highlighted that, just because it’s your parent’s money, it doesn’t mean that you are automatically entitled to receive this when they die. Our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors have highlighted the case facts, below.
Can I contest my parent’s Will?
If you think that you should have been provided for by your parents out of their Estate, you should contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors in Lancaster or Preston to find out whether you can make a claim. You can email our team to firstname.lastname@example.org for a call back within one working hour, or you can contact your local office here.
Our team at MG Legal would always advise that, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding your parent’s promises during their lifetime, you cannot necessarily rely on these when they have passed away. In the case of Shapton, discussed to the right, her claim was not necessarily made on the basis of promises made to her by her father, however, Mrs Shapton still felt that her father should have considered her when he made his Will. As can be seen from the facts of the case, her father did not consider protecting the inheritance for his children, therefore leaving it up to his wife whether she decided to leave them any gifts.
If you want to find out whether you are entitled to make a claim against your parent’s Estate, our team can discuss this with you. Give us a call at your local office (Lancaster – 01524 581 306, Garstang – 01995 602 129 or Longridge, Preston – 01772 783 314) to have an initial chat and find out where you legally stand.
Can I protect my inheritance for my children?
Alternatively, if you want to ensure that your children receive a share of your Estate after you’ve died, you will need to discuss making a Will with the relevant provisions. If your Will is not drafted to protect the inheritance for your children (for example, if the bulk of your Estate is being left to a surviving spouse or partner), they may – as highlighted by the case above – not receive anything whatsoever.
Our expert team of Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors can advise you on the different options that are available to you when making provisions for your children, and how this would affect your Estate.
Contact our team online, here, for a call back within one working hour.