Inheritance Wars: Tracey’s tragedy following the passing of her beloved foster son
Due to the devastating passing of her adult foster son, Tracey faced the daunting reality of losing her home and income due to the rules of intestacy. Read on to find out about Tracey's shocking story and how Wolferstans Solicitors helped her in a time of crisis.
Disclaimer: This post discusses distressing circumstances, including a traumatic assault on an infant resulting in severe disabilities. Reader discretion is strongly advised. The purpose of sharing this story is to underscore the importance of legal guidance in unexpected situations. If you have concerns or find the content distressing, please consider whether it's appropriate for you to continue reading.
William, Tracey’s foster son, was born a healthy baby. However, his life took a tragic turn when he was seriously assaulted by his biological father, resulting in severe disabilities that would affect him for the rest of his life. William, still a newborn, suffered cerebral palsy, visual impairment, learning difficulties, and much more. His father was sent to prison.
Almost immediately after the assault, Tracey stepped into his life, in time becoming his devoted foster mother, and treating him as her own. William’s biological family visited him occasionally, but it was Tracey who provided him with 24-hour support in a loving and stable home.
Due to the injuries William suffered, compensation was sought from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and William obtained a multi-million pound award given the extent of his disabilities.
In early adulthood, William suddenly and tragically passed away, leaving a substantial estate. Without a will, William died intestate, meaning that his entire estate would pass to his biological parents. Had Tracey adopted William, she would have inherited under the laws of intestacy in place of his biological parents.
William’s biological father willingly gave up his 50% entitlement, meaning that William’s biological mother was entitled as beneficiary to William’s entire estate. She was also entitled to administer William’s estate and in doing so, asked Tracey to leave her longstanding home which had been bought by William’s compensation award. Tracey was made homeless and lost her care giver income as a result all whilst still grieving the loss of her foster son.
In light of these extremely challenging events, Tracey turned to Wolferstans Solicitors’ Inheritance Disputes team for their support. They explored the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which allows for certain categories of individuals to contest an estate if they believe they have not been adequately provided for.
With the tireless help of Julian Burrows, Head of Wolferstans’ Contentious Probate team, Tracey’s case was resolved through Mediation for an amount that Tracey was happy to settle for.
This heart-breaking “inheritance war” story sheds light on the challenges people like Tracey can face when the truly unexpected happens and underlines the critical need for proper legal guidance in such situations.
We extend our gratitude to Tracey for sharing her story and commend her for her incredible dedication to caring for William throughout his beautiful life.
Wolferstans’ Inheritance Disputes team is here to help individuals facing similar predicaments and to ensure that justice is served. Please get in touch to speak to one of our legal experts.