Inheritance Dispute – Failure to provide for a child
When Rachel and her sister, Stacey, were growing up, their father Peter assured them that he had made a will that shared his estate equally between them. Following a family argument, Peter fell out with Rachel and refused to speak to her again. Rachel tried to make friends with her father, but he rejected her attempts. After Peter’s death, Rachel discovered that Peter had changed his will so that he only made provision for Stacey. This left Rachel in financial difficulties because ill health had prevented her from working. Rachel was able to bring a contentious probate case against Peter’s estate on a no win no fee basis. Following a mediation, Stacey agreed to pay some of the estate to Rachel.
In her will, Doris divided her house equally between 3 of her daughters, including Elena, and provided her residuary estate (which was worth approximately one-third of the house’s value) to her last daughter, Frances. However, Doris sold the house before she died, but did not update her will. Applicable rules required the proceeds of sale to fall into the residuary estate, and so Frances inherited it all. This meant that Elena would not receive her intended share. Elena was able to bring a contentious probate claim against Doris’ estate on a no win no fee basis, and her lawyer negotiated a settlement that resulted in Elena receiving a share of the estate.