The Inheritance – Dispute Resolution

September 7, 2023


***Spoiler Alert*** do not read this article unless you have started watching Channel Five’s new family drama ‘The Inheritance’!


This Monday saw the release of the first episode of Channel 5’s thrilling four-part drama – ‘The Inheritance’. Starring actors from EastEnders, Downton Abbey and Coronation Street, the series began with a gripping depiction of three siblings who are left shocked after the unexpected death of their father Dennis Watson.


At the reading of his will, Daniel, Cloe and Sian Watson are stunned when they learn that not only has their father kept a 14-year long affair and new wife secret, but he has left their family home and all his money to a woman who they’ve never even heard of.


At this discovery, the siblings insist their father must have been the victim of his new wife’s coercion and they are forced to both question his state of mind when making his new will and if his new wife could’ve played a role in his unforeseen death.


As more secrets emerge throughout the episode, suspicions rise around the circumstances of Dennis Watson’s death and the siblings are forced to work together to try and uncover the truth. Are the police right in ruling their father’s death a suicide? Or did his new wife have something to do with it?


This emotionally turbulent episode not only kicks off by exploring the complicated family relationships during the aftermath of an unexpected death but also the legal complications these are sure to bring hereafter.


But things aren’t always as they seem…


With more twists and turns to be uncovered next week, the episode ended by hinting towards a complicated police investigation, the possible murder of a vulnerable old man, and a brutal inheritance battle yet to come.


At IDR we call this a Monday…


Here’s what Martin, CEO and Founder of IDR had to say on the episode…



Watching the Inheritance, I am struck by two things. Firstly, as a contentious probate specialist there were loads of alarms bells ringing by the end of Episode 1 – invalid last will arguments based on lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, lack of knowledge and approval, and/or revocation by marriage, along with financial provision claims by the children either way and even the potential effect of the forfeiture rules! We can certainly help any of the parties involved in this kind of dispute get it resolved! The second thing that was obvious from excellent acting was the sheer upset for the children in not knowing why their father had done everything he had (if indeed it was true). What would they give to speak to him one last time?  What would they ask him? I suspect they would want to know why he has done/not done all that they are being told. Inheritance disputes are unique in that the best witness is always dead. So, knowing what we know about all of this, can we try and prevent this kind of dispute and/or upset happening at all? We think we can help – we have created two pieces of LegalTech that would deal with virtually all of the potential disputes in this case – one has launched at and a further one is in the pipeline to launch before the end of this excellent TV series. We will keep you updated … “



In our next commentary we will deal with two very common issues raised in the TV show – who can deal with the sale or not of the property? And who decides how and where someone’s body is to be dealt with?