Carer Wins Legal Battle Related To Wealthy Widows Estate

High Court Ruling Puts Proprietary Estoppel In Spotlight

23.07.2014

The law in this area relates back to the concept known as promissory estoppel. This is the idea that someone – in this case Mrs Vasileva – relies on the promise of another person with the understanding that any detriment they have suffered would be rewarded upon that person’s passing.

“In these circumstances, Mrs Vasileva took to caring for Mrs Stanley and was told that she would be granted her flat as a result.

“These can often be difficult claims to succeed in relation to, purely as the promises between two people are often made without witnesses and therefore can be difficult to prove.

“Such circumstances demonstrate why it is so important that people not only ensure they make wills detailing how they want their estate to be handled following their death, but also ensure that all of their friends and family understand the reasons behind those decisions.

“Providing such clarity can leave loved ones in no doubt regarding how an estate should be managed and may ultimate mean that disputes between friends and family are avoided in the long term.

“However, it must also be accepted that this is not always possible and if people have suffered issues along these lines, we would urge them to seek legal advice on how they could potentially take action to get access to the inheritance they deserve.”

Expert Opinion
The law in this area relates back to the concept known as promissory estoppel. This is the idea that someone – in this case Mrs Vasileva – relies on the promise of another person with the understanding that any detriment they have suffered would be rewarded upon that person’s passing.

"In these circumstances, Mrs Vasileva took to caring for Mrs Stanley and was told that she would be granted her flat as a result.

"These can often be difficult claims to succeed in relation to, purely as the promises between two people are often made without witnesses and therefore can be difficult to prove.

"Such circumstances demonstrate why it is so important that people not only ensure they make wills detailing how they want their estate to be handled following their death, but also ensure that all of their friends and family understand the reasons behind those decisions.

"Providing such clarity can leave loved ones in no doubt regarding how an estate should be managed and may ultimate mean that disputes between friends and family are avoided in the long term.

"However, it must also be accepted that this is not always possible and if people have suffered issues along these lines, we would urge them to seek legal advice on how they could potentially take action to get access to the inheritance they deserve."
Paula Myers, Partner