When a person makes a Will or dies without one, certain persons related to them or maintained by them can challenge the Will or intestacy provisions and claim money from the Estate, even where there is a Will that expressly excludes them. Our experienced team of contested Wills and probate solicitors are able to assist in complex matters such as making claims under the Inheritance Act 1975.
Who can make a claim
Spouses and former spouses
Civil partners and former civil partners
Children of the deceased (including adult children)
Stepchildren (where they have been treated as a child of the family by the deceased by reason of marriage)
Cohabitants (in certain circumstances)
Persons who have been maintained by the deceased (in certain circumstances)
Claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 can be made where reasonable financial provision has not been made for a claimant either by the deceased’s Will or under the Intestacy rules.
A claim should not be considered on the question of whether or not the deceased was morally right or wrong in the way that they may have disposed of their estate. The Act requires an objective assessment of financial provision and answering the question of whether reasonable financial provision has not been made. If you have any further questions relating to who is eligible to make a claim, please contact our experienced team of contested Wills and probate solicitors in Essex and London.
Rules and decisions
There are complex rules to assess what award should be made and each case is different. A court will look at the standard of living enjoyed during the lifetime of the deceased. It will also look at all the circumstances of both parties including financial resources and needs. A court can make an award of a lump sum, monthly payments and it can also transfer property. Any award can only be made from the net estate and what is actually available for distribution.
In deciding the value of any award the court will look at the financial resources and needs which the applicant, any other applicant and any other beneficiary may have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future. The court will also consider the obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards the applicant or any other beneficiary, the size and nature of the net estate and any physical or mental disability of the applicant or any other beneficiary.
Any application under the Inheritance Act 1975 must be made within 6 months of the Grant of Probate so legal advice should be sought immediately if you believe you may have a claim.
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