Inheritance Act Claims

When a close family member or common law spouse passes away the last thing you want to do is pursue a claim if you haven’t been provided for or taken into consideration.

However, as there are very strict time limits to pursue an Inheritance Claim it’s important to take legal advice as soon as possible.

We have helped many people to make successful claims under the Inheritance Act, after unexpectedly finding that they are not properly provided for on death.

We can also help if you are an executor or beneficiary and someone else is contesting the will.

We will for this reason:

  • Offer you clear advice and support you at this difficult time.
  • Combine a sensitive and sympathetic approach to inheritance and probate disputes with a determined fighting spirit to ensure the best results are achieved.

WHAT IS INHERITANCE ACT CLAIM?

The aim of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is to make
financial provision for those who:

  • have not inherited as a result of intestacy (where there is no will);
  • have been left out of a will entirely; or,
  • haven’t been left as much as they need.

WHO CAN MAKE AN INHERITANCE ACT CLAIM?

  • The wife, husband or civil partner of the person who died.
  • A former wife, husband or civil partner who has not since remarried or formed another civil partnership.
  • Someone who lived with the person for at least two years before their death.
  • A child of the person who died.
  • A person treated as a child of the person who died.
  • Someone who has been financially supported by the person who died up until the death

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0161 492 0000

Questions or Concerns

There is only one ground for a claim under the Inheritance Act, which is that the disposition (or division) of the deceased’s estate, whether following the Will or under the laws of Intestacy, does not make reasonable financial provision for the applicant.

If someone has died, the Inheritance Act allows certain people to make claims against the estate if they have not been reasonably (financially) provided for.

There are a range of funding options which might be available to fund your case.

These include:

  • ‘No win no fee’ agreements
  • Discounted fee agreements
  • Legal expense insurance (often included with home insurance policies).

Where the applicant is a spouse, or a civil partner, of the deceased, ‘reasonable financial provision’ means such provision as would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for a husband or wife or a civil partner to receive, whether or not that provision is required
for his or her maintenance. 

The court must consider, but is not bound to follow, the likely settlement that would have made within divorce proceedings, if the parties had divorced rather than the deceased having died.

You may hear this referred to as the ‘divorce fiction’.

For all other applicants under the Inheritance Act, ‘reasonable financial provision’ means such provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstance of the case for the applicant to receive for his maintenance. 

Thus the court will not make an order in these circumstances only because the applicant feels that the Will or Intestacy is unfair or is not as they expected. The applicant must show that he had a reasonable expectation of having his living costs met by the deceased. 

If the applicant was financially independent of the deceased before the date of death, it may be very difficult to show such an expectation.