Challenge an intestate estate

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Nero1234, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Nero1234

    Nero1234 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2015
    28
    Hi looking for some help here,
    Can the step daughter who was not legally adopted challenge an intestate will when property and the rest of the residue of the estate will be left to family of the testator not immediate family but possibly nephews etc, what would be the best approach for her to use in claiming the original % her late step mum wanted her to have in her will.
     
  2. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    362
    It's been a long time ...... you need the Family and Dependents Act 1975 (probably as amended) which allows a claim in some circumstances from someone if she was:

    "any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage"

    There are various conditions for a claim to be made set out in later sections so I think she'd need a family lawyer to tell her whether she is eligible under the further conditions spelled out in the act. It may be that they wouldn't charge for this if she makes an initial enquiry.
     
  3. Nero1234

    Nero1234 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2015
    28
    Update

    Would a lawyer contact any persons who inherited the intestate estate on the SD behalf to negociate a % of her SM last wishes and instructions can the long lost family aggree to this to be done on their behalf rather than having to try to implement the ammended 1975 act and if they dont aggree how soon should she take before asking the 1975 act to be considered.
     
  4. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    362
    I need to say here I am not and never have been a lawyer, I came across this sort of thing in my job, but we sort of hung on the tails of solicitors when it came to the nitty gritty.
    Alawyer could to anything you wanted them to do, provided it's legal. I'd first ask one if she has the basis of a claim in her particular circumstances. If she has, she or a friend, or a lawyer, then asks the administrators of the estate for something from it. The Act is what enables the lady to expect a share if qualifying conditions are met, otherwise she will have to rely on goodwill from the beneficiaries under intestacy rules.
     
  5. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,269
    Female
    Chester
    Based on your earlier posts the estate is not intestate as there is a valid 2003 will, this can put a different spin on things I guess as you said the step daughter did get something in the 2003 will, just more in the invalid 2015 will.

    The other beneficiaries of the 2003 will can pass assets to step daughter either by a deed of variation or straight gift.

    The relative who you originally referred to without capacity can not make these decisions and whoever acts for her would have to act in her financial best interests, not reducing her assets.

    The situation is already complex and good legal advice is needed to not make it worse
     
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    I don't believe you can make a claim, there's a link below to a legal website and the grounds for challenging do say;

    Who can claim for reasonable financial provision
    Any children (which includes illegitimate, adopted and adult children, and children conceived but not yet born at the time of death, but not stepchildren unless they have also been adopted).

    K

    http://www.lawdonut.co.uk/law/perso...heritance/dependants-claims-against-an-estate
     
  7. Nero1234

    Nero1234 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2015
    28
    Update

    Thank you for the reply
    As one of the executors in the 2003 will has passed away and he was the main beneficary other property and the residue of the estate will be passed onto his nephews etc, as i said all very complicated, how does the SD approach the people who are going to inherit their uncles % of the estate
     
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,854
    Wigan, Lancs
    There is an act called the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 which is still in force. This allows certain classes of people to make an application for provision from an estate whether there is a will, or whether the person died intestate.

    With the exception of spouses the person had to show that they were being maintained in some way by the person who had died. There has been a recent well publicised case which has thrown that requirement into doubt.

    As jugglingmum says this is a complex legal area and the person concerned needs to take competent legal advice, and quickly as there are strict time limits (usually 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration) in which to make a claim.
     
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    I think the story below is the one Sue's referring to, however, in that case the woman concerned was the daughter and that's the difference. As per my earlier link non-adopted step children are specifically excluded for some reason.
    It also helped the woman in the court case wasn't at all well off so she could claim her mother hadn't "made reasonable provision" for her.
    K
     
  10. Nero1234

    Nero1234 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2015
    28
    Update

    How long does it usually take to get everything sorted although we know this is a very complicated estate is there a timescale
     
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,142
    Male
    North Manchester
    "How long does it usually take to get everything sorted although we know this is a very complicated estate is there a timescale"


    Depends on the length of the piece of string!

    Although the whole situation is complex there is one clear starting point, obtain grant of probate/letters of administration for the 2003 will.

    Once this has been obtained redistribution of the assets more in line with the invalid 2015 will can be considered, either voluntary by the beneficiaries or by a legal claim. Any voluntary redistribution should be in the best interests of the beneficiary lacking capacity.

    Concentrate on the 2003 will, this will remove a currently unknown part of the timescale, don't worry about the rest of it till the will is proved,
     
  12. Nero1234

    Nero1234 Registered User

    Nov 3, 2015
    28
    Hi folks, i know its been a while since my last post, my aunt sadly passed away the other day, we managed to get guardianship put in place for her but the will never went to probate and is still not a legal document, does that mean that as a beneficery she has now lost her inheritance and would anything she was left now go back into the estate to be divided up equally with the other beneficaries
     

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