Many clients approach us with concerns that a family member may have been influenced into making a Will in certain terms, often for the benefit of the person alleged to have been influencing the…
Articles by ‘Mike Muston’
It is fairly common for parents to leave their estate to their children, which may include the family home. For most families, there are few issues in administering such estates. However, where one of several intended beneficiaries lives in the family home prior to the death of their parents, this can lead to disputes with the other beneficiaries (often their siblings) over the administration of the estate.
The Private Client team at RWK was recently instructed to act for a family to contest an increased demand for inheritance tax made by HMRC.
One area where there has been much debate in the legal sector over the past few months is in relation to the preparation and execution of Wills. Many firms saw a huge increase in demand for will instructions in March and April and it is inevitable that there will also have been an increase in the number of Wills that were made at home, without professional assistance.
It is regularly reported that inheritance disputes are on the rise. Here we look briefly at some of the most common grounds for challenging a will and the reasons behind why they arise.
Two recent decisions made by the courts of England and Wales have shown how the interpretation of the terms of pension schemes may conflict with the rights of persons under the European Convention on Human Rights. These cases have shown that courts are willing to find terms to be discriminatory, in circumstances where they may not reflect the general purpose of the scheme, nor modern family circumstances.
In a recent case the court has refused to grant permission to a widow who attempted to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Dependants) Act 1975 after the expiry of the 6 month time limit. Whilst cases may be brought after the expiry of the time limit, this case has emphasised that the authority for granting permission to do so rests solely with the court.
Two recent disputes involving farming estates in the South West have looked at the issue of promises of inheritance made to children and what happens if those alleged promises appear to have been broken. Here we consider the relevant law further and look at what can be learnt from these cases.
Today the Law Commission launched their public consultation, looking at whether the existing rules on how Wills are made should be updated for the modern world. One of the things this consultation will consider is whether people’s electronic communications, such as texts and emails, should be recognised as a valid Will in exceptional circumstances. This is an exciting innovation that bridges the gap between outdated laws and the modern age, but would change necessarily be for the better?
In March 2017, the Supreme Court ruled on the long running claim brought by Heather Ilott against the estate of her late mother, Melita Jackson. Whilst the Supreme Court’s decision did not represent a significant change in the law and Mrs Ilott was, technically, successful in her overall claim, the decision made by the Supreme Court suggests that charitable legacies may be less open to challenge than previously thought.
The final chapter of the Ilott v Mitson inheritance dispute case is now at an end. So have adult child claims for financial provision under the Inheritance Act now become far more difficult?