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Pre-Death Agreements

Disappointed Beneficiary Claims

Our Will Disputes solicitors may be able to help you claim if you expected to inherit something from a loved one but it isn’t in their Will.

People often agree to leave specific assets or possessions to their friends and family in their Will. Unfortunately, these pre-death agreements are sometimes missing from the deceased’s final Will because of mistakes made by their solicitor or Will writer. Mistakes like this can be particularly severe for high net worth individuals with valuable and unique assets.

In 2005, the House of Lords ruled that Will writers owe a duty of care not only to the person making the Will, but also to anyone who was intended to inherit. This means that you can claim against the Will writer if you have missed out on expected inheritance due to negligence on their part.

Making a professional negligence claim might not secure you the exact inheritance that you expected, but our solicitors will work closely with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your individual situation.

Our highly experienced team takes a bespoke approach to every client, with support and representation tailored for your unique needs. We’ll discuss the case with you in-depth, help you decide on the best course of action, and keep you informed with progress throughout your claim.

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

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Disappointed Beneficiaries Claims - More Information
    • Will I Have To Go To Court?
    • Most disputes can be resolved by negotiation and discussion, without having to go to court. However, sometimes this isn’t possible and court is the only way.

      We understand that most people would prefer to keep their dispute out of court, and we will always do everything we can to try and reach an agreement by mediation or negotiation.

      However, if your dispute does have to go to court, we will support you at every stage. We have the experience to handle court disputes efficiently and effectively, to achieve the best outcome for you.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Disappointed Beneficiary Claim?
    • Depending on the type of claim you’re making, you may need to start your claim within six months of the grant of representation being issued.

      In all cases, it’s very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, so you aren’t prevented from making a valid and potentially valuable claim. We’ll be able to advise you on your situation and how we can help.

    • How Long Will It Take?
    • Most claims take less than a year and don’t have to go to court. However, every case is different and time spans depend on the type of dispute and your individual situation.

      Some disputes can be resolved quickly in a matter of months, but others might take years to conclude and involve going to court several times.

      We’ll advise you at the start how long we think it will take. Whatever the situation, we always aim to resolve your dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible. We understand that this is a difficult time, and we’re here to help you through.

    • How Much Does It Cost? Who Pays?
    • The cost of a Will, trust or estate dispute varies from case to case, depending on time, complexity, and whether or not you have to go to court.

      A dispute can be settled at any time if the parties can come to an agreement, and they can then decide how to split the costs between them. However, if an agreement can’t be reached and the case has to go to court, the court will decide how the costs will be paid.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our Will, Trust and Estate dispute team is the largest in the UK and we have offices across the country. We are experienced in managing high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth claims as well as less complex ones.

      We’ve resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of multi-jurisdictional wealth management structures, rural property and inheritance tax.

      We are recommended by the leading legal guides and pride ourselves on the strong relationship we build with our clients in what is often a very distressing time.

      Meet the team

My legal team has held my hand throughout, they have been incredibly patient and understanding"

Joy Williams, client

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Make A Disappointed Beneficiary Claim?

You may be able to claim if mistakes made by the Will writer have meant that you’ve received less than you were expecting from an estate. This can happen when a Will isn’t executed properly or in some cases not executed at all.

For example, you could claim if:

  • Unnecessary delays meant that changes someone made to their Will weren’t put in place before they passed away
  • The Will writer didn’t properly advise the deceased on how to execute their Will
  • The Will writer didn’t supervise the execution of the Will
  • The Will doesn’t reflect the deceased’s intentions
  • The estate lost value due to incorrect tax advice.

If you’re disappointed with what you’ve been left in someone’s Will, our solicitors can investigate whether or not you’ll be able to make a claim. Call us on 0345 604 4895 or contact us online to find out more.

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What Happens When I Make A Claim?

We will always try to keep your dispute out of court wherever possible. Our team includes highly skilled mediators and we will try to help you, the executor and the other beneficiaries reach an agreement before making a formal claim.

If an agreement isn’t possible and you do need to make a formal claim…

We will need to prove that the deceased’s current Will is defective due to mistakes made by the Will writer or bad advice from a solicitor. This is known as professional negligence.

If we successfully challenge the validity of the Will, the deceased’s estate may be distributed in accordance with an earlier Will instead. If there is no earlier Will, the estate will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy – find out more about what that means on our Probate Disputes When There Is No Will page.

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