How To Avoid Proprietary Estoppels in Contested Probate Cases

It is a sad fact that Wills are commonly challenged (Contested Probate) and claims made by both family and non-family members often lead to heartache and disagreement and your estate may not necessarily easily pass to whom you wish, be they family members, good friends or good causes.

When making a Will it is imperative that you think carefully about who you promise what to and follow through these promises in your Will as much as possible, otherwise the Executors of your estate may be faced with ‘Proprietary Estoppel’.

Proprietary Estoppel occurs when disappointed beneficiaries attempt to obtain a share of an estate through relying on a promise made by the Testator (the person making the Will) in their lifetime, which the beneficiary claims they ‘acted to their detriment in reliance upon’. However, in these circumstances it is up to the disappointed beneficiary to prove this in order to claim a share of the deceased’s estate. Writing the court that evidence to prove this is difficult – and as a

result applications for proprietary estoppel in contested probate claims are relatively rare – though that should not stop you if you have a valid claim.

Want to know more about Proprietary Estoppels – contact us

As specialist Contested Probate Solicitors we are experienced in dealing with all types of contentious matters and regularly act for Executors, Trustees and family members. Contact our specialist  inheritance lawyers today for expert legal advice on this complex issue.

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