Limitation for Claims on Estates

In disputed estates, it is vital that you act in a timely manner to seek advice and begin taking steps to negotiate with the other parties, or to commence Court action.

Not only is it important that you are able to investigate and assess the prospects of your claim proceedings, but timely action is also necessary to avoid an estate being fully administered and assets distributed before you have the opportunity to Claim.

Claims without statutory limitation

There are some contentious probate actions, such as for revocations of a Grant of Representation, or disputes over a Will that may not have a statutory limitation – and so the claim could be brought at any time after the date of death. This type of Court application may occur because it was discovered that a probated Will had been made fraudulently, or a later Will may be found. In those circumstances the law may not impose a deadline by which Court action must be commenced.

Claims to personal estate

Claims to receive a beneficiaries interest in a deceased’s personal estate, being under a Will or Intestacy, must be brought within 12 years of the right to the interest arising. This is a claim where the party already has the interest in the estate, and is not an argument over whether they should be given an interest/entitlement to share in the estate.

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 Claims

Claims for provision from an estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 are subject to a much tighter limitation of six months from the date of a Grant of Probate, or Letters of Administration, being issued. This tighter limitation period means that timely investigation and advice must be taken, or there is a risk that the right to bring the claim may be lost.

Need for expert advice

You can see that the issue of limitations is complex, with several variations depending on the circumstances and when the various types of Claims can be brought. There are also exceptions and variations in certain circumstances. Because different claims and estate situations have different limitation periods, then there can be substantial risk, if advice is not sought at an early stage and the correct Court action commenced.

To find out how we can advise you on a claim, contact us on 020 3928 7102 or email


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