Not only are Claimants entitled to recover a success fee in inheritance disputes, they can now rely upon them as a "financial need" when the Court is making a needs based calculation following the landmark case of Hirachand v Hirachand (2021).
This article reminds us of the steps which should be considered by beneficiary defendants embroiled in Inheritance Act 1975 litigation, including: a meticulous review of the merits of defending the case, sensible consideration of early settlement, and applications for interim payments.
Whilst these tactics are regularly employed by inheritance litigation specialists, the recent case of Hirachand raises the stakes of litigation even higher; focusing parties' minds on dispute resolution as a more pragmatic and cost effective alternative to litigation.
Where next for Defendants in the Inheritance Act 1975 litigation world post Hirachand v Hirachand? For anyone defending an Inheritance Act claim litigation will no doubt become more costly. For contentious trusts and probate specialists it will mean it is even more important to try to settle by negotiation where possible and appropriate, and for those cases that do not settle the stakes at trial will be raised higher.