Example case study: estate dispute after concealed assets revealed in Inheritance Act Claim
The following case study is based on a matter that our inheritance dispute solicitors typically take on.
Our inheritance dispute solicitors helped a client resolve an estate dispute with his late father’s partner after she put forward a claim to secure an interest in the estate.
Mary and Simon were together for 10 years before Simon died intestate (without a Will) in 2020. The couple were unmarried, had no children together and had separate finances.
Simon had a surviving son (Lee) from a previous relationship.
Claiming under the Inheritance Act 1975
As Simon died without a Will in place, and he and Mary were unmarried, his estate did not automatically go to Mary. Mary therefore contacted her solicitors to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 to secure an interest in Simon’s estate.
The Inheritance Act allows certain people to bring a claim against an estate of a deceased person where ‘reasonable financial provision’ has not been made for them, e.g. in a Will.
Allegations of concealing personal assets
After putting forward her claim, allegations of Mary hiding personal assets and income for the purposes of improving the claim came to light.
Lee instructed our estate disputes solicitors to help secure and protect evidence of Mary’s current and future financial needs. We instructed agents to undertake enquiries including searches of her social media profiles.
Resolving the claim
The claim was resolved by a settlement agreement after a diligent review of Mary’s financial disclosure confirmed the concealment of assets.
This case is a blueprint for an increasingly large number of Inheritance Act claims as it includes an unmarried couple and children from a previous marriage.