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Families at war

16 April 2015 | Ken McEwan

Disputes between family members are common, and it’s an area where we are often asked for help. 

Our Dispute Resolution team recognises that litigation is not always the right approach in these situations – the idea of taking brothers or sisters to court is upsetting  – so we take a different approach wherever possible. We are experienced in resolving disputes over sensitive issues through negotiations or round table meetings.

Will Disputes

We were recently instructed in a case where our client’s father died and left a large portion of his estate to our client.  Our client’s son, the deceased’s grandson, felt that he should have been left a greater share of the estate as he had been living with his grandfather at the time of his death.  The grandson issued proceedings against our client under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 asking the court to make an order that he gets ‘reasonable financial provision’ from the estate. 

The proceedings included sensitive family issues and our client found the thought of going to court extremely distressing.  We therefore arranged a mediation session where an independent third party attended a meeting a brokered a settlement between my client and his son.  

Sibling Rivalry

We have also been instructed on several property disputes between siblings.  We recently acted for a client who had purchased 3 rental properties jointly with her sister.  Their relationship broke down and they were in dispute over who should receive the rents and what should happen to the properties. 

We arranged mediation where the sisters were able to sit around the same table with their legal team and discuss what issues needed to be resolved.  The result was successful and we negotiated a settlement between the parties that helped their relationship.

If you are having any issues with a family member over a will or property issue then please contact Emma Ironside on 0117 906 9488 to discuss the options available to you.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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