Negligent Inheritance Act claim

Have you lost out on your inheritance due to a mistake by your solicitor?

This is a case study of a successful negligent Inheritance Act claim we have recently made.

Our client lived in Tonga with her three children and various grand, and great-grandchildren. She had been married to L in the 1960s, but he had emigrated to the UK to find work. While he was in the UK he met somebody else and, despite remaining married to our client and sending her money, he cohabited with the other woman and had two children by her.

L eventually died and in his Will he left everything to his two sons in the UK. As no provision had been made for our client, his lawful wife, solicitors in England were instructed by her to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975. Because the terms of the Will were not known the solicitors issued a caveat with the Probate Registry.  This was an unusual course of action for them to take as caveats are used to prevent Probate being granted.  What the solicitors should have done is take out a Standing Search, so that they would be notified when the Probate was granted which would then start the timetable to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act.

Because a caveat had been lodged, the solicitors acting for L’s sons applied to have it removed. This gave our client’s solicitors seven days to object to their application, but they failed to tell her about it until day six. They then gave her incorrect advice about what needed to be done and failed to mention that it needed to be done by the very next day.  As a result, the caveat was removed and Probate went on to be granted. This meant that the solicitors then had six months within which to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act, but they didn’t advise the client of this.

A number of months later (when she thought that her caveat was about to expire) she wrote to her solicitors. She asked them to extend the caveat. The solicitors agreed to this but didn’t actually do so, If they had applied to extend, they would have discovered that Probate had already been granted and there was very little time left to bring the Inheritance Act claim.

As a consequence the solicitors missed the limitation date and the client lost her right to bring her Inheritance Act claim. She therefore consulted our professional negligence experts about making a negligent Inheritance Act claim.

We took the case on and agreed to work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Although the solicitors attempted to defend the claim, it was clear that they had made multiple errors and were legally liable. They ultimately settled the negligence claim on a very generous basis and our client was delighted with the end result.

If you wish to make a negligent Inheritance Act claim then contact us for a free case assessment and details of No Win, No Fee funding. Call us on 0808 139 1591or simply send us an email with brief details of your claim and the financial loss you have suffered.

Negligent Inheritance Act claim