Defending An Inheritance Act For Dependants Claim

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foresthill | 21:59 Thu 04th Feb 2021 | Law
8 Answers
My mother passed away April 2019 and Probate was granted in January 2020. The will is straightforward, with equal shares to five children amounting to 190k apx. to each beneficiary. The co Executors are my brother and a Solicitors practice.

One of the beneficiaries has mental health issues and has a Deputy for property and finance, who is a solicitor, and was appointed in December 2019.

In September 2020 the executors received a letter from the Deputy acting for my sister, putting the estate on notice of a potential claim under the 'Inheritance Act for Dependants 1975', because in his opinion she had not been left adequate provision in the will, because of her needs. He anticipated she would require an additional 100-200k over and above her share. At this point the executors said there was nothing more to be done until they heard back from the court, and no distribution would be taking place.

By December 2020 the executors had received nothing from the court or heard anything from the potential claimant. The executors then gave the claimant an ultimatum that if they didn't hear anything back, they would be distributing the estate as per the will. Nothing was heard so the executors distributed the bulk of the estate at the end of December 2020, leaving 70k still to be distributed.

The Deputy claimant is now threatening action again and it would seem has still not submitted a claim to the Court. The executors are now asking for each beneficiary to return 40k of their inheritance to the estate, so they can try and come to a compromise by making an offer of 30k in order to try and avoid litigation, even though the claim would be 'out of time'

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.


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How would £40k x 4 = £30k?
the only person who can give sensible advice is Barmaid
who might contribute

my own feeling is to go with your lawyers advice ( and rue the day that solicitors were named as executor - but doing anything about that is far far too late)
Gee thanks

Estate is 5x150k = 950k

All five have been paid out (950k - 70k)/5 = 176k, leaving 70k in the pot

Four beneficiaries returning 40k each, plus 30k added from the pot, would give 190k to add to the fifth beneficiary's 176k, giving 376k for one versus 136k for each of the four, with 40k still in the pot.

Personally, I would tell the Deputy to get stuffed.
Thanks Ellipsis, but I must be misunderstanding - where does it say that £30k would be added from the pot to the 'returned' cash? I was basing my question on this sentence:

// so they can try and come to a compromise by making an offer of 30k //

I too would think it unfair.

Not a professional but I have been involved in something similar. We took paid for advice from a solicitor and he suggested that we should take paid for advice (one off payment) from an expert in the field. He was able to give us a feel for how a court might view the case. In the event, we setttled for more than we wanted to lose but much less than the other party was asking for. In our case the risk was that we would lose the lot and end up having to pay the court proceedings expenses as well. I don't think we can give you advice on here except for Barmaid who is a legal beagle herself.
China, I believe the 30k was to be added to the 160k ... Otherwise what's the 160k being handed back for?
Well, exactly - hence my question. Hopefully the OP will clarify.

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