Star’s ex-partner cites the two most common reasons for an inheritance dispute

 In Probate, Wills

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Despite splitting up with George Michael over a decade ago and being left out of his will, former partner Kenny Goss has persevered in attempting to claim cash from his £97m estate.

After a bitter court battle, the trustees of the estate have finally agreed to an undisclosed settlement, five years after the star’s death.

Most of the estate was left to Michael’s sisters, however, Goss claimed that he’d been promised a monthly support amount of £15,000 which was apparently being paid following their split up to his death. He also expressed concerns about Michael’s state of mind when he signed his will in 2013, which also left nothing to his partner at the time of his death.

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Dicky Davies, business development director for Tower Street Finance, says: “This lawsuit was based on the two most common reasons people contest an inheritance. The Inheritance (Provision for Families & Dependents) Act 1975 covers people who were financially dependent on the deceased and feel they were not made financial provision for in the will, and a question around his mental capacity when the will was signed.

“It’s very common that cases settle before getting to courtroom proceedings, indeed our partners at IDR Law who deal solely in contentious probate have seen just 1 in 600 cases actually go to trial. However, the process is still expensive and although there’s not always £97m at stake there are plenty of people who just can’t afford the solicitor’s fees to claim what’s rightfully theirs.

“Traditional lenders insist on various credit checks and additional legal opinions, which can cost more than £5,000 before they’ll even underwrite a case – and the decision could still be ‘no’. This stops many people from pursuing a claim even if it’s likely to be successful.

“IDF is unique in that we ask the solicitor to make a decision on the validity of the case and agree the funding at the start. We’ll always cover 100% of the costs and our decision-making process is quick.”

IDR Law’s managing director Martin Holdsworth, the only firm in the UK which deals solely with contentious probate cases,
said: “There are very few products on the market to help fund contentious probate cases. The main point of difference with Inheritance Dispute Funding is that the strength of the claim and likely result is assessed, rather than the ability of the client to repay.

“This immediately places the focus in the right place – the ability of the solicitor and the merits of the claim.”

Martin was one of the specialists involved in product development.

Key benefits of Inheritance Dispute Funding are:

  • Fast, simple decision making
  • No credit checks on the client
  • No assessment costs – the decision is made based on information supplied by the solicitor
  • Funding amount agreed and 100% of the costs are covered
  • Interest is only paid on the amount drawn down from the facility to cover solicitors’ costs as they are billed
  • The funding is repaid from the inheritance
  • No personal liability and no monthly repayments

Find out more about the product at https://towerstreetfinance.co.uk/inheritance-dispute-funding/ or call 0343 504 7100

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