Proprietary Estoppel

Our personal disputes team is experienced in advising clients on issues relating to a proprietary estoppel claim. This is a legal term for a claim where a person is surprised and negatively affected by the way property has been passed on in the terms of deceased person’s will.

Since property is, for most people, the most valuable part of a person’s estate, finding your expectation to inherit denied can be extremely upsetting and lead to a serious dispute.

If someone claims they had been promised they will inherit all or part of a property, but that expectation is not reflected in the will, this can be challenged using proprietary estoppel.

There are three requirements for a proprietary estoppel claim:

  • An unambiguous promise by words or conduct.
  • Reliance on that promise to the claimant’s detriment.
  • That it would be unjust or inequitable to allow the other party to go back on the promise.

Where all the elements of the claim are proved, the court will consider whether it is ‘unconscionable’ for the person who made the promises to go back on their assurance and whether fairness demands remedy and, if so, what that remedy should be. This could be the awarding of the property / land / business itself or another remedy available to the court.

Proprietary estoppel claims are complex cases. They are often accompanied by strong emotions on both sides. It can be hard to provide reliable evidence as the promises relating to the property may have been made verbally and without witnesses. As your expert proprietary estoppel lawyers, we will help to establish all the facts and help you to get a fair deal.


Melanie Grose

Head of Personal Disputes

Ben Sidgwick


Jenny Carter


Jodie Walmsley

Litigation Executive

Key contact

Melanie Grose

Head of Personal Disputes

Get in touch

Call us on 0800 328 3282, or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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