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Private Wealth Disputes

Challenging Lifetime Gifts

People can make lifetime gifts for many reasons.  It may be to assist family or friends with an immediate need rather than wait until after they’ve died, or to avoid paying inheritance tax on death.  This may or may not be based on sound professional advice. 

Reasons a Lifetime gift could be challenged.

A lifetime gift could be challenged for many reasons – some of the more common ones include:

  • The person making the gift was frail, elderly and/or vulnerable.
  • The person making the gift lacked the mental capacity to properly assess whether they should make the gift and appreciate the impact it may have on their finances.
  • The person making the gift was improperly pressured or influenced to make the gift.
  • The gift was a result of fraud.
  • The person making the gift has appointed an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney, and the attorney has made a gift without the approval of the Court of Protection. 
  • The transaction was never intended to be a gift, but instead had the hallmarks of being a loan, with repayment conditions attached to it.

It is possible that this gift was made with the knowledge of the person making the gift but it may still be open to challenge.  Was it intended to avoid a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, or to prevent creditors getting paid by the estate?

When can a Lifetime gift be challenged?

Much will be depend on the size and nature of the gift, to whom it was made, for what reason and the impact on the person’s finances.

We can advise you if you have made a gift and feel you were taken advantage of, or regret it, perhaps because you now have insufficient funds to meet your needs.

It may also be that you received the gift and are concerned that someone is seeking to recover it. 

We are experts in dealing with this type of dispute, whether it be seeking the recovery of the gift or opposing a claim for its return.