Claims under the Inheritance Act
Do you need to contest a will? Were you expecting financial provision from a will that has not materialised? Or are you looking for a specialist wills solicitor to advise on how to defend a claim?
As part of our wills and probate services, we can advise clients who wish to bring or defend an Inheritance Act claim.
Where contentious probate issues have arisen as a result of the distribution of the deceased’s estate, eligible family members who feel that reasonable financial provision has not been made for them, either through a will or intestacy, can make an application to the court for an order under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Also known as the Inheritance Act, this enables the court to change or vary the distribution of the deceased’s estate for eligible family members who have either:
- been left out of a will due to intestacy (there is no will)
- not been left as much as they need or expected; or
- been left out of a will completely
Applications for a claim can only be made if the deceased was domiciled in England or Wales.
Those who are eligible to claim and wish to argue a will include:
- the deceased’s spouse or civil partner
- a former spouse or civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried
- a child of the deceased
- any person living with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death
- any person treated as a child of the deceased (for example, a fostered, adopted, or step-child); or
- any person being ‘maintained’ by the deceased, directly before their death
Our team of solicitors specialising in the Inheritance Act can advise clients who wish to bring or defend Inheritance Act claims.
We can also provide assistance in situations where it is agreed that the provisions of a deceased’s will should be altered, but where there may be a possibility of mediation to reach a fair compromise without involving the courts.
It is important to note that there is a strict time limit of six months from the grant of representation or probate within which to bring a claim for financial provision under the Inheritance Act. This time-frame will only be extended in exceptional circumstances so it is imperative that you seek professional advice as soon as possible in these matters.