Contesting a Will

Two recent judgements have shown the working of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in contesting a will.

In one case a woman who lived with her partner for 18 years won a share of their home after it passed to his estranged wife. Joy Williams lived with Norman Martin but he had remained married to his previous wife and had not updated his will. The house that Ms Williams and Mr Martin had shared was held as tenants in common which meant that the property did not automatically pass to Ms Williams. Her claim was for an order for “reasonable financial provision” to be made from Mr Martins estate and the judge concluded that a fair and reasonable result would be for Ms Williams to retain an absolute interest in the house she shared with Mr Martin

In the other case – one of the largest fought under the Inheritance Act – the widow lost her claim for an extra £3.75m after the judge ruled that the provision already made – the £4.25m family home and other assets worth £1.6m – was plenty enough to keep her in the luxurious lifestyle to which she was accustomed. Her claim that she needed another £372,000 a year to cover expenses was rejected by the judge who held that the will made reasonable provision for her

These cases highlight the need to update your Wills regularly to take into account your personal circumstances.

For advice on contesting a Will or you have an issue with how Executors are administering an estate or you wish to update your Will contact Rhys Ll Thomas 07855 327 330

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