Do I have a Claim?
Probate Answer – Do I have a Claim?
Quite a high proportion of people die without a valid Will anyway. There are many ways of invalidating a Will.
1) Not signing it.
2) Not signing it in front of two independent witnesses who then in their turn sign and add their details in the presence of the person whose Will it is.
3) Signing the wrong Will.
4) Getting married where the Will does not clearly expect a marriage to that person.
5) Destroying the Will – if it can’t be found, it is likely to be presumed (not always correctly) that the Will was destroyed by the testator in order to cancel it.
For anyone who has no valid Will in place, their assets are distributed according to the rules of Intestacy. If your aunt had few relatives, it might be worth checking to see if you would benefit.
If there is a Will and it does not include you, then claims could be:
1) Under the doctrine of Estoppel, if you had been supporting her financially in return for the promise of an inheritance. A classic example here would be financing the purchase of the council house they lived in and paying all or part of the mortgage, with the agreement that you would inherit the house.
2) On the other side, if your aunt had been supporting you, you might have a claim against the estate for continued support.
You can ask for a copy of the Will, but it won’t necessarily be forthcoming. If it has been through the Probate Courts, then you can write to Leeds Probate Registry with the relevant fee and obtain a copy.
I’m afraid it doesn’t look too promising!
Do I have a Claim – Probate Questions.