Making an Inheritance Act claim
Generally speaking, everyone is free to dispose of their assets as they wish. This means we have freedom to choose who we want to benefit from our estate when we pass away. However, the law does provide protection for certain classes of people who should be entitled to receive financial provision from a deceased’s estate. This protection comes in the shape of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Inheritance Act claims are made against the estate of the person who has died and if successful it overrides the terms of their will or the intestacy rules.
Who is entitled to make an Inheritance Act claim?
The Inheritance Act is there to help spouses, children, civil partners, cohabitees and other dependants who have not been adequately provided for. If a will (or the intestacy rules) fails to make ‘reasonable financial provision’ and you fall into one of the categories, then you may be able to make an Inheritance Act claim.
What does the court take into account in Inheritance Act claims?
When dealing with an Inheritance Act claim, the court will take into account the applicant’s financial needs alongside factors such as:
- The age of the person making the claim;
- The duration of any marriage or relationship;
- The health of the applicant; and
- The size of the estate.
How we can help you bring or defend an Inheritance Act claim
Our lawyers have extensive practical knowledge and experience in the specialist field of Inheritance Act claims.
We have a range of funding options, including no win, no fee.
We advise both individual claimants wishing to make a claim and beneficiaries who want to defend an Inheritance Act claim being brought against an estate.
Inheritance Act claims can be very complex and give rise to a number of complicated legal issues. It is therefore important to seek legal advice from specialist solicitors with an established track record of success.
To give you an idea of the issues that can arise, here are links to just a few of the articles we have written on Inheritance Act claims, giving more detailed information:
Inheritance Act claims can often be settled out of court and we have had particular success in resolving disputes through mediation. Mediation offer a relatively fast and cost effective solution to these disputes and we will be happy to discuss whether it is likely to help in your case.
If you are considering an Inheritance Act claim, it is essential that you get advice at the earliest opportunity. Remember, claims must be brought within 6 months of the grant of representation (probate). If you have already left it too long we may still be able to help, as long as you act quickly.