Inheritance Act and proprietary estoppel claims

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People are entitled to leave their estate in whatever manner they wish. However, there are two important ‘checks’ on this freedom.

Firstly, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act – also known as the ‘Inheritance Act’ or ‘1975 Act’ – allows certain categories of people to make a claim against an estate on the basis they are financially dependent on the deceased, and the deceased’s Will does not make reasonable provision for them. We have experience in bringing and defending Inheritance Act claims and, regardless of which side we are on, we will work to achieve an agreed resolution wherever possible.

Secondly, where property is promised to someone, that person relies on that promise, and yet the property is not left to that person, a claim of ‘proprietary estoppel’ may arise. Often nothing is in writing and these claims require a technical, detailed approach.  Our team has experience in these matters; Geoffrey Kertesz has been involved in a number of proprietary estoppel claims and wrote the chapter on proprietary estoppel in the 3rd Edition of ‘Probate Disputes and Remedies’.

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