Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
from what you say, I believe I would be correct to conclude that the lady has not been financially dependent upon your father in any way. Is this correct please?
Has your father made a will?
thank you. presumably I am also correct to assume that the lady is claiming to be your father's biological daughter? I think this is obvious but would you kindly confirm for the avoidance of doubt
thank you. Her entitlement in respect of your father's assets depends principally upon the amount of your father's assets when he comes to pass away and whether or not he has made a will. Could you tell me if your father is presently married?
if your father did not make a will, then the intestacy rules would apply which provide that your father's spouse is in title to the first £250,000 of his estate and any balance is split 50/50 between a life trust and your fathers children which would include the lady if her claims are true. If your mother were to pass away before your father, then your father's assets would simply be divided between his children equally which again would include the lady if her claims are true.
Accordingly, it is important that your father makes a will in order that the intestacy rules do not apply as the intestacy rules only apply if an individual does not leave a valid will
in light of the ladies claims, it would be sensible for your father to consider something known as a "non provision clause" in his will which is a clause that specifically states that he has deliberately not made any provision for any party claiming to be his child other than you in your siblings. anon provision clause can make it more difficult for any third party to make a claim against your father's estate
it is impossible to prevent a third party making a claim against an estate as an individual can do as they wish however a claim by the child against your father's estate when she has had no financial dependence nor any relationship with your father during his life when your father has chosen to otherwise leave his estate to his spouse and or other children, would be extremely challenging to say the least
in order to make a claim even more challenging than it would already be, your father could consider in addition to providing a non-provision clause in his will as above, also writing a letter addressed to his executors setting out in more detail that he has had no relationship with children other than you and your siblings and setting out the reasons why he does not wish to provide for any such individuals that may prove themselves to exist. If there is any question as to his mental capacity at the time that he does so, it would be sensible to obtain a medical report as well in order to demonstrate that he has capacity they this is not necessary unless there are issues relating to forgetfulness or dementia and so on
the above steps would make any potential challenge by this lady or indeed any other unknown stepchildren extremely difficult
she would have no claim against your father's assets during his life
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