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Bringing or Defending financial provision claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975

Where a person has not been left reasonable provision in a Will or under the Intestacy Rules they may be able to make a claim against the estate of the deceased person under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (often known as “the Inheritance Act”). Such claims are often seen as an “indirect” means of contesting a Will which is otherwise valid.

Claims under the Inheritance Act can only be brought by the following persons:-

  1. the spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
  2. a former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased;
  3. a partner of the deceased who lived with the deceased for at least two years immediately before his/her death;
  4. a child of the deceased; and
  5. a person who was maintained by the deceased.

The courts will look at each case on its own facts and decide what constitutes reasonable financial provision and what should be awarded in any case. In particular the court will look at :-

  1. the financial needs of the claimant and the beneficiaries of the estates
  2. the obligations or responsibilities which the deceased had towards the applicant and the beneficiaries
  3. the size and nature of the estate
  4. any disability (physical or mental) of the applicant or beneficiary; and
  5. any other matters which the court deems relevant.

Strict Time Limit

Claims under this Act must normally be brought within 6 months of the issuing of the grant of representation (although exceptions may apply in rare circumstances) so it is important to seek urgent legal advice if you believe you have grounds to make a claim.

Ramsdens Contentious Probate team is highly experienced and has successfully represented numerous clients in Inheritance Act claims. Whether you are considering making an Inheritance Act claim or you are faced with a Claim against the estate which you would like to defend, Ramsdens Solicitors have the expertise to assist you.

For further information and advice please contact us on 01484 558058 or complete our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will contact you.