Widow loses out in Inheritance Claim.
An inheritance claim by a widow to the England & Wales High Court has declined to overturn the will of the late Thomas Joseph Smith on grounds of mental incapacity. It also refused the widows claim under the Inheritance (Provision for family and Dependants) Act 1975 and awarded costs of £80,000 against her. A very expensive failure, which is not at all unusual in an inheritance claim. Always proceed with care, and not just emotion.
The deceased’s estranged wife Olga had claimed a terminal brain tumour had caused him to show strange behaviour. This included not only sexual aberration but also the execution of a Will that disinherited her in favour of his immediate family. The defence submitted that this behaviour, even if true, did not affect Mr Smiths ability to make a valid Will. Essentially, you need only be aware of the nature and extent of your assets and be aware of those people who you could reasonably be expected to consider leaving anything too. The press story indicates that, though they were not divorced, their marriage was long since over in the real world.
If you have a possible Inheritance Claim (perhaps under the broader scope of the 2014 Act we offer an inexpensive brief initial review to see if there is any realistic prospect of a claim succeeding. Just give us a call on 03 300 102 300 for details.
Read more on the story here.
See also Contest a Will.
Starting out on such a claim which is not a really sound one can result in enormous costs, as Mrs Smith and many others have found to their cost. So it has to make sense to start off with a basic test to give you some idea of your prospects of success. Far too many Inheritance Claims are fuelled only by anger or disappointment and may be without legal justification.
That said, the 2014 Act has certainly increased the number of people who are legally able to make such a claim.