People often make informal agreements with friends and family about what will happen to their estate when they die. Our solicitors may be able to help you secure assets that you’ve been promised even if they aren’t in someone’s will.

A valid Will is supposed to accurately reflect how the deceased wanted their property to be handled when they die. If they made agreements that aren’t represented in their Will, this can raise questions about the validity of that Will and cause disputes between prospective beneficiaries.

There are three main ways you may be able to claim against someone’s estate to secure the assets that you were promised:

  • Proprietary Estoppel – if you have already suffered a financial loss because you expected to receive certain assets
  • Inheritance Act – if you were financially dependent on the deceased and they failed to sufficiently provide for you in their Will
  • Professional Negligence – if the pre-death agreement was missing from the deceased’s Will due to mistakes made by their Will writer or lawyer.

Our specialist team of Will dispute solicitors will advise what type of claim is best for you. We’ll support and represent you throughout – whether we agree a solution through mediation or take the claim to court.

Large and complex estates left by high net worth individuals are often disputed. We have resolved some of the country’s most high profile disputes of recent years and have particular expertise with trusts, rural property and overseas assets.

Contact us online or call 0345 604 4895 to find out more about how we can help.

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Pre-Death Agreement Solicitors - More Information

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Pre-Death Agreement?

A pre-death agreement is usually when the deceased promised to leave you something when they die. There are also cases in which the deceased promised to transfer or gift an asset before they died.

People usually make pre-death agreements verbally, without any formal written documentation. This can lead to disputes if the promise is broken, revoked, or not included in the deceased’s Will. It can also be hard to prove that there was an agreement.

If you’ve been promised something that’s not reflected in someone’s Will, we may be able to help. Contact us today to find out more.

What Is Proprietary Estoppel?

You may still be entitled to a promised property even if there is no written evidence of an agreement. This is due to a legal principle called ‘proprietary estoppel’ which comes into effect if:

  1. Someone promised that you would acquire a property; and
  2. You relied on that promise to your loss – for example, if you gave up a career because you expected to inherit the family farm; and
  3. It would be immoral to break the promise.

Our wills solicitors can help you make a claim to enforce a pre-death agreement and make sure you receive what you had been promised. See our Proprietary Estoppel page for more information.

Who Can Contest A Will Based On A Pre-Death Agreement?

Anyone who has suffered a loss due to a broken promise might be able to claim, either through proprietary estoppel or for professional negligence, depending on the circumstances. Your exact relationship with the deceased doesn’t matter – you could be a friend, family member, business partner, or employee.

If you were related to or dependent on the deceased and they failed to adequately provide for you in their Will, you may also be able to claim under the Inheritance Act.

Whatever your situation or relationship with the deceased, our experienced team will determine whether you have a claim and the best way to resolve your dispute. Call our friendly team on 0345 604 4895 today to find out more.

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