Inheritance disputes from beyond the grave
The decision to exhume Salvador Dalí’s remains this year marked a new chapter in the lengths individuals will go to in establishing an inheritance claim. The exhumation was to determine whether Pilar Abel was his daughter and could therefore make a claim to be his legal heir. A DNA test on the Spanish surrealist’s remains disproved the claim.
In the UK, meanwhile, inheritance claims are increasing in frequency and complexity. According to the Royal Courts of Justice, claims issued under the Inheritance Act 1975 rose almost 40 per cent to 158 between January and December last year.
Robin Lecoutre, an associate at Hunters solicitors, says claimants could say a person were of insufficient mental capacity when they made their will and did not understand the extent of their estate, or that they were coerced into making their will. “These types of claims are often heavily reliant on statements from witnesses who testify, after your death, that what they might have heard you say, or how you behaved in their presence at around the time you made your will, casts doubt on the validity of your will,” he says.
Read the full article in the Financial Times here, behind a paywall.