Promise Not Honoured in a Will

Agreements and promises are often made by individuals throughout their lifetime, as they decide who they would like to leave their assets to when they die. These might be verbal conversations or more formal arrangements. But sometimes these promises are not honoured in their will, leading to a claim against that individual’s estate. 

The legal term for this type of claim is ‘proprietary estoppel’. If you were promised an interest in a property or land when an individual died and you have not seen this reflected in the person’s will, you may have a claim if you can show that: 

  • the deceased made a clear and unambiguous promise to you during their lifetime that they would leave property or land to you. This can be expressed or implied, but it must be clear that the party making the promise intended for the promise to have an effect between both parties;
  • you relied on that promise or altered your position to your own financial detriment; and that the reliance on that promise was reasonable.

We can also assist in defending against a claim for proprietary estoppel. 

How JMW Can Help

We understand that proprietary estoppel cases often come from family members and close friends, so it can be a difficult decision to push ahead with legal action. We handle all matters sensitively and professionally, giving you the specialist advice that you need at this time. 

Our experts will decide whether a claim could be made and then assess the value of the claim. For example, a successful case for a proprietary estoppel claim could be an individual who has given up their salaried job in order to provide care to somebody, or to work for them, under the assumption that they would be recompensed for this in that person’s will. When working out the value of that type of claim, we would not only look at the loss of salary at the time, but also consider the loss of future job prospects and the associated costs from the legal process.

Our Will Disputes Team

Alison Parry
Will and Trust Disputes
Ian Johnston
Associate Solicitor
Will and Trust Disputes
Beth Kelly
Will and Trust Disputes

Talk to Us

To speak to a solicitor about a promise that was not honoured in a will or for help defending against a proprietary estoppel claim, get in touch with us today. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our online enquiry form to request a callback.

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