Grandchild contest will

    Will disputes for grandchild left out of a will

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    Grandchild’s claim for financial provision under the Inheritance Act 1975

    One of our most high-profile and widely reported cases involved representation of an adult grandchild (AB), aged 34, in an inheritance claim against the estate of their maternal grandmother under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The claim was brought on the basis that immediately before the grandmother’s death, AB was being financially maintained by her. In particular, from November 2009, the deceased was making contributions to AB’s rent on a monthly basis. Following which, in 2011, the deceased was a guarantor and signed a tenancy agreement on another flat, paying £220 per month in part payment of rent until her death in February 2015.

    Between the deceased’s death in 2015 and February 2020, AB’s mother, EF, a beneficiary of the will and also one of the defendants/appellants in the case, supported AB by continuing to make up the shortfall of rent.

    Under the terms of the deceased’s will, her son, CD, and her daughter EF, the two main appellants, were appointed to be executors and trustees of the estate. This had a value of around £430,000, which was to be divided into three shares, namely between the two executors, and another daughter, GH.

    Grandchild contest will

    AB brought a claim for reasonable financial provision under sections s(1)(1)(e) of the 1975 Inheritance Act,  because she was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased and was therefore entitled to make a claim.

    In an order dated 16th April 2021, Deputy Master Rhys ordered that the sum of £175,000 should be settled upon trust with the intention it be used to purchase a home for AB to allow her to live there rent free during her life . The defendants/appellants appealed this decision on the basis that the Deputy Master had erred in law by failing to take account of key factors, which, had he taken them into account, would have led him to refuse to make the order for financial provision. Furthermore, the appellants contended that the order was “completely unworkable” because it imposed fiduciary duties on them to which they did not consent.

    By this point, the relationship between EF and AB had completely broken down, and because of this, explained that the appellants did not want to take on the burden of being trustees of the settlement with the onerous obligations over many years that would entail.

    However, the judgment of Mrs Justice Joanna Smith hearing the appeal, handed down on 28th October 2021, stated that mere reluctance on the part of the appellants to abide by the terms of the order made by the Deputy Master did not of itself render the Decision “unworkable”. Following submissions, it was acknowledged that the use of professional trustees would be a satisfactory way forward and that cooperation would be possible to achieve that end. The appeal was therefore rejected, and in addition noted, that a court should not be deterred from making an award simply because one party may be reluctant to implement it.

    Judkins solicitors were honoured to represent AB on this complicated matter, doing so on a no win, no fee basis. Funding a legal case can be a worry, which is why we have developed a range of funding options for inheritance disputes. One of our most popular funding options for inheritance disputes is no win, no fee. If you would like to know more about the services we offer, then call us to discuss your options on 01992 500456 or send us an outline of your case to

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