Family farms and landed estates often fall front and centre in inheritance disputes and we have considerable expertise in representing clients in these types of matters.
The courts have recently seen a spate of cases pivotal to which is a purported reliance by an adult child on a promise from one or both of their parents that one day the farm or landed estate in question will be theirs. If then on the parent’s death they go back on their promise and bequeath the farm or estate to another sibling (or third party) then the earlier assurance gives rise to a potential claim on the basis of what is known as a proprietary estoppel. If such a claim is successful the court has a wide discretion as to appropriate remedy including making an order giving effect to the adult child’s expectation as a consequence of the assurance given.
Parties involved in disputes over family farms and landed estates may also claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (which enables certain categories of people who were financially dependent on the deceased prior to death to bring a claim for reasonable financial provision from his or her estate) or claim a constructive trust (a trust arising in circumstances whereby it would be unconscionable for the beneficiary to be denied an interest by the other person).
We have an excellent track record in these types of cases and although it may be necessary to go to court in some instances, we are also able to assist the family in reaching a satisfactory resolution without having to go down this route. In each case, we will weigh up the individual needs and circumstances of our clients, and tailor our approach accordingly.
Our leading family team are also extremely experienced in dealing with Farms and Landed Estates in the context of divorce.