When an executor received a claim for a deceased’s estate six months after it had been distributed to close family, they were in for the shock of their life. The claim, from a former acquaintance of the deceased, was for a whopping £500,000, based on the grounds of proprietary estoppel and an alleged invalid will. The claimant said they were a former unpaid carer of the deceased, and alleged that undue influence had been exerted on the deceased to change their will before they passed away. They argued that the deceased did not have the capacity to make these changes. The deceased had an older revoked will, which had benefitted the acquaintance now making the claim.
But it wasn’t all bad news.
Luckily, the estate administrator had taken out a DUAL Asset Comprehensive Executor & Inheritance Insurance policy before the estate was distributed, meaning the beneficiaries were protected if something unexpected like this arose. Upon notification, the insurer took over dealing with the claim and instructed contentious probate lawyers to act on the estate’s behalf.
Unfortunately, more claims were soon received from other acquaintances of the deceased, further complicating the defence of the estate benefices. Defending proprietary estoppel claims can be notoriously difficult, particularly when the claims are based on verbal promises made years ago with no witnesses. This made the prospect of defending the claims in court even more challenging.
The insurer investigated the nature of these claims and, on the balance of probabilities, determined that defending the claims in court would be tricky. After mediation, both claims were settled out of court, with the claimant’s and legal fees being paid to the tune of £300,000, including the claimant’s legal fees. Luckily, the beneficiaries were able to keep their inheritance and the administrator didn’t have to pay the legal costs.
All in all, a successful outcome that highlights the importance of having a Comprehensive Executor & Inheritance policy in place, as unforeseen circumstances can always arise.
Kate Thorp, Manager of Executor & Inheritance Protection at DUAL Asset, said:
“At DUAL Asset, we are committed to providing peace of mind when it comes to our client’s estates. In this instance, our insurance solution and successful negotiation avoided a protracted and costly legal battle, so that the beneficiaries could keep their inheritance and the administrator did not have to pay any legal costs.”
Read more about DUAL Asset’s Executor & Inheritance solutions here.
To discuss a specific enquiry, please contact Kate Thorp on 07519 129136 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was submitted to be published by DUAL Asset as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.