Our experience in Inheritance Act claims
Unmarried partner awarded over £400,000 from estate
Vlad Macdonald-Munteanu and Roman Kubiak acted for the successful claimant in the widely reported case of Thompson v Raggett  EWHC 688 (Ch).
Our client, 79-year-old Joan Thompson, was entirely left out of her partner, Wynford Hodge’s, estate which was valued at over £1.5m despite them having been together for 42 years
We were able to secure an award of over £400,000 for Joan at the High Court which consisted of a property worth £225,000, a £160,000 lump sum for Joan’s future maintenance and care and £28,845 to renovate her property.
Husband secures c.£1m settlement from deceased wife’s estate
Roman Kubiak acted for the husband of the deceased in relation to claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and to set aside the deceased’s last will on the grounds of lack of capacity and lack of knowledge and approval.
The matter was particularly complex as the deceased and her husband were, at various times, resident across mainland Europe with assets likewise split between various countries across Europe.
As such, it was necessary to establish the legal position abroad and liaise with the authorities to ensure that any judgment in the UK would be enforceable in the various foreign jurisdictions as well as to consider the impact of forced heirship and matrimonial property regimes and tax considerations.
Further, the grant of probate was originally extracted on the basis that the deceased died domiciled in Switzerland, potentially excluding the husband from bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act. We were successfully able to argue that the deceased had died domiciled in England and wales, thereby enabling the husband to bring his claim and secure a generous award.
Hugh James act for wife in successful Inheritance Act claim
Matthew Evans acted for the successful claimant at first instance and on appeal in the reported case of Iqbal v Ahmed  EWCA Civ 900.
Our client, Mrs Mussarat Iqbal, was widowed after 22 years of marriage. Following her husband’s death she discovered that, under the terms of her husband’s will, she was left just £8,000 and a right to live in the matrimonial home. That home was valued at £115,000 and required extensive repairs worth over £30,000 which she simply could not meet. There was, therefore, the very real possibility that she may not be able to carry on living in her home.
The remainder of the deceased husband’s estate was left to his son from an earlier marriage.
The court heard that Mrs Iqbal, 61 at the time, was totally dependent on her husband prior to his death.
An application was therefore made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and the court agreed that Mrs Iqbal had not received reasonable financial provision. As such, the court awarded Mrs Iqbal half of the property along with the right to stay in her home for life and the deceased’s residuary estate. The defendant was ordered to pay Mrs Iqbal’s legal costs.
Hugh James secure financial award for disabled child from father’s estate
Roman Kubiak was instructed by the Official Solicitor to act for the daughter of the deceased in her claim for reasonable financial provision under the inheritance Act. The daughter, who was five years old at the time of her claim, suffered from cerebral palsy which meant that she required medication, one to one help at school and emotional and physical support.
We were able to secure a settlement representing twice the daughter’s original entitlement which was then placed in trust to provide for the daughter’s considerable needs.