Thanks for your question.
The basic position is that if he did not make a Will then his estate would pass according to the intestacy rules which would mean that his wife would inherit his estate.
An inheritance can be contested under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent) Act 1976. The application must be made within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate in the estate and you will need a solicitor to do it for you.
The difficulty is that if you/other family members were not dependent on your uncle to maintain you/them and that you need a provision to be made then it is not advisable to attempt to make a claim under the Act
The Court would consider what is a "reasonable financial provision" for the dependent claiming and would ll take a number of factors in to account in determining what is fair (eg. size of the estate, other claims, resources and needs of other family members/dependants, responsibilities the deceased had to you), each case turns on it's own facts and there are no hard and fast rules to work out what a person would be entitled to.
On the facts, if there are no genuine members of the family who were depednent on your uncle then an attempt to make a claim under the act would not be advisable. Given that the situation is manifestly unfair I would suggest phoning a local contentious probate solicitor and asking for a fixed fee appointmentand getting some specificy advice from them on the merits of any possible claim after coming to a view on whether any of you were depednent on him to any extent. That said, I would steel yourself for a negative response.
I am very sorry that it could not be better news, it's an appalling situation by the sounds of it.
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