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Have you inherited less from a loved one’s estate than you feel is fair? If so, then it is important to take action quickly and get help from a specialist lawyer. Delaying could prove costly for you in the long run or even completely sink your chances of altering the outcome.

Time limits apply in many instances

In certain circumstances, you can challenge the unfairness of an inheritance, for example by making a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975.   However you may be surprised how short the standard time limit is for bringing that type of claim.  It is only six months from the date of issue of the grant of probate (the document issued by the Probate Registry to the person who will deal with the deceased’s estate, the executor).

If you miss this deadline for your claim it could add to the cost of you making the claim or even prevent you from being able to do so.  Timely action can therefore avoid those costs and problems.

It is always worth contacting a lawyer specialising in inheritance claims even if you are beyond the six months time period.  All might not be lost because the court has some discretion in respect of the time limit.

Other problems can arise if you delay

The six months deadline applies to Inheritance Act claims but not to other types of inheritance claim such as a challenge to the validity of the actual Will.  However it is still important to act promptly for the simple reason that the estate assets might be distributed in the meantime.  For example the house might be sold and money sent on to the people benefiting under the Will you feel is invalid.

What can I do?

Act as soon as possible.  Contact a lawyer with expertise and experience in dealing with inheritance disputes who is an accredited member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.