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Sir Bruce Forsyth's children may be able to claim against his estate after they are left out of Will

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Are homemade Wills a recipe for disaster?

Sir Bruce Forsyth is rumoured not to have left any of his £11.5 million fortune to his six children. 

Whilst it is believed that around £100,000 was placed in trust to be split between his nine grandchildren, reports suggest that the late entertainer left nothing to his six children. Instead, it is understood that the vast majority of his amassed fortune was left to his wife in an attempt to avoid liability for inheritance tax. 

In situations such as these, the children may be able to bring a claim against the estate on the basis they have not received reasonable financial provision. When bringing claims of this nature, the court must consider a range of factors, including the financial means of all involved and any moral obligation the deceased had to those bringing the claim. 

It is generally much harder for adult, non-dependent children to bring a claim; however the number of these claims has increased significantly in recent years following the case of Ilot v Mitson. In this case, the claimant had been omitted from her mother's Will as they had been estranged for many years. The claimant was of limited means, whereas the charities to whom the estate had been left had much more money. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the judges overturned the Court of Appeal decision and reinstated the first instance decision which awarded the claimant £50,000.

If you think you may want to challenge an estate as you feel you have not received reasonable financial provision, it is important that you seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. The time limit for these claims is very short, therefore it is important to move quickly otherwise you could miss out if you wait too long.

For a fixed fee of £150, you can have a 30-minute appointment with a specialist, either on the telephone, or face to face, depending on your preference. We will take some brief details from you before the appointment, and we will then discuss your case with you, and what your options are. Call us on 0175 321 6399 and if your case is something we can assist you with then further funding options can be discussed.

By Rachael Williams, trainee solicitor in the dispute resolution team

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