Ask an UK Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
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.
If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.
Thank you- I half expected that response but it was good to get a second opinion. It is an unfortunate situation and I appreciate your sympathetic approach.
Thank you for your very kind accept. As I say, I would still take specific advice, preferably on a free half hour appointment or otherwise for a fixed fee.
Thank you I'll look in to that.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).