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Inheritance Act Claims

The purpose of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is to make appropriate financial provision to certain individuals, depending on their needs, circumstances and relationship to the Deceased.   Individuals may be entitled to further provision from the estate if they have been:

  • left out of a Will as a result of intestacy (where there is no Will)
  • left out of a Will entirely
  • left too little to meet their needs

If there has not been reasonable financial provision, the Inheritance Act enables the Court to vary the distribution of the Deceased’s estate to rectify the issue.

Who is entitled to claim?

A spouse or civil partner is entitled to such financial provision as is reasonable in all the circumstances, ‘whether or not that provision is required for his or her maintenance’.  

Anyone else claiming under the Inheritance Act 1975 is entitled to such reasonable financial provision as is necessary for their maintenance, insofar as the estate can provide it.

Those entitled to claim under the Act include:

  • a former spouse or civil partner;
  • a cohabitee who was living with the Deceased for two years immediately before the death;
  • a child of the Deceased;
  • a person who was treated by the Deceased as a child of the family; or
  • a person who was being maintained by the Deceased immediately before the death 

How can we help?

Such claims can of course be contentious, but that is not always the case.  For example, the parties sometimes agree amongst themselves to vary a Will in favour of a potential claimant.   In those instances, we can help with working out the details and formalising the agreement.  

If you think you fall within one of the above categories and you do not think that you have been reasonably provided for, then do not hesitate to contact us for more information and we can discuss how we can help.

Please note that prompt action is required for Inheritance Act claims, as there are time limits which can restrict when such claims must be brought.