Recent years have seen a substantial increase in the number of proprietary estoppel cases reaching the courts.

An interesting trend that has emerged is that many cases involve claims against living defendants – as opposed to claims against a deceased’s estate.

Often, a broken promise is not revealed until a deceased’s will has been read after their death and it becomes apparent that an asset the individual expected to inherit has been bequeathed to someone else.

At this point, parallel claims for contesting a will may be brought – under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel and or under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Where the broken promise is revealed in th...

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