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Claims on the rise for those left out of Wills

People left out of a Will may still be able to claim part of an estate, an expert has highlighted following a major court case.

The High Court has ruled in favour of a woman who was left out of her late partner’s £1.5 million estate, despite the fact they had been together for more than 40 years. She pursued a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, and the court found in her favour, awarding her a residential property and cash, equating to over 25 per cent of the estate.

Nicola Turner, associate solicitor in the Probate & Inheritance Disputes team at regional law firm Napthens, reports that courts are increasingly dealing with claims of this nature.

She said: “This case is a timely reminder that people may still be able to claim for part of an estate, even if they are left out of a Will.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of this type of claim, and while it remains the case that spouses have the greatest legal protection, there are ways for cohabitees to bring a claim for financial provision from their partner’s estate, particularly where, as in this case, the couple has been together for decades.

“Claims for an interest in residential property are not limited to estate claims and can also be pursued following a relationship breakup.

“Anybody who might find themselves in this difficult situation should seek legal advice on their options.”

Napthen Solicitors Employee Nicola Turner