If you were financially Dependent on the Deceased and the rules of intestacy or the deceased’s last valid Will makes no provision for you, can you make a claim for reasonable financial provision ? Potentially

You may also wish to consider promissory estoppel and other matters but for the purposes of this post we will concentrate on the Inheritance Act 1975.

Who is potentially eligible to apply for provision under the Inheritance Act? Spouses or civil partners of the deceased, a child of the deceased, any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage or civil partnership to which the deceased was at any time a party, any person treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to the marriage or civil partnership, any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained either wholly or partly by the deceased. Any of the persons described in the above paragraph may apply to the Court for an order under the 1975 Act on the ground the deceased Will or rules of intestacy do not make reasonable financial provision for the applicant.

The Court will consider the following matters when faced with a 1975 Act claim for reasonable financial provision from the deceased’s estate.

  • 1. Is the Claimant eligible to bring a claim?
  • 2. Has a Grant been obtained ?
  • 3. Is the Claim made within time (Inheritance Act claims must be made within 6 months of date of grant)
  • 4.How any claim is to be funded?
  • Once the Court have dealt with issues 1 to 4 the Court will then consider the two questions below –
  • 1. Has disposition of the deceased’s estate failed to make reasonable financial provision for the Claimant?
  • 2. If the answer to 1 is yes, to what extent should the Court exercise its powers to make reasonable financial provision under the 1975 Act ?

To answer the two questions above the Court must have regard to s.3 of the Inheritance Act 1975. These are in summary the financial resources of the Claimant and their financial needs which they are likely to have in the future. Consideration of any other Claimants and their needs along with that of the beneficiaries. Consideration of any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any Claimant or towards beneficiaries. The size and nature of the estate. Any physical or mental disability of the Claimant or any beneficiary any other matter including the conduct of the Claimant and any other party.

If your considering making or Defending an Inheritance Act claim contact Clodes today to discuss the your case.

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