So, I am not much of a television viewer and if I do watch television, I am very picky about what I watch. However, something has caught my eye this week and I am intrigued by a new drama starting on channel 5 tonight at 9.00pm called “The Inheritance”.
As a specialist in dealing with Will Disputes and Inheritance Act Claims, it will, I am sure it will be an interesting watch. The program has a star-studded cast, so I am led to believe, including Larry Lamb of Gavin and Stacey fame and Robert James-Collier who was in Downton Abbey.
So, the brief synopsis of the program is that three siblings are left reeling when their father leaves everything to a woman they have never heard of. The drama begins when their father dies unexpectedly and his three children realise, they have been cut out of his Will.
Family secrets are revealed, the siblings begin falling out with each other as they try to come to terms with the circumstances and they try to find out why their father has cut them out. There is also a suspicion that their father may have been killed (murdered).
While I am sure there will be some artistic licence in the program, the facts are quite common, well except for the added murder plot, and sadly, something I see every day in my working life.
The program potentially could have several scenarios and potential claims which could include the following: -
• lack of testamentary capacity.
• undue influence.
• a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
• while not technically a challenge under the Will, if the deceased was murdered by the beneficiary that beneficiary may lose their intended inheritance based upon the law of forfeiture.
Cases like this are on the rise and it is important to ensure that you obtain specialist advice as soon as possible to try and prevent the case escalating and possibly damaging family relationships forever. These cases are difficult not only because of the complex nature of them but they are also often highly emotional and often involve a lack of trust between the parties. Dealing with them requires not only a specialist understanding of the legal principles but also must be handled sensitively and with empathy.
I am a member of The Association of Contested Trust and Probate Solicitors (ACTAPS). If you need advice on any matter involving either a dispute with a Will or a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 or indeed any other contentious estate matter then you should contact me on 02392 660261 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, enjoy the drama!