Inheritance Act Claims in the 21st Century
Are the provisions of a will not adequately meet your needs? You can make inheritance act claims under provisions within The Inheritance Act 1975. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 states
“An act to make fresh provision for empowering the court to make orders for the making out of the estate of a deceased person of provision for the spouse, former spouse, child, child of the family or dependant of that person; and for matters connected therewith.”
In simple terms, the act ensures when a person passes away, every beneficiary earns a provision. A beneficiary is anyone who receives something in a Will. Inheritance Act claims are claims certain categories of people make against the estate of a deceased person.
Claims often arise if a claimant doesn’t receive reasonable financial provision in the Will. The Inheritance Act addresses reasonable financial provision for non-spouses and civil partners to bring a claim. For spouses and civil partners, moreover, the matter goes beyond maintenance.
“Financial provision that would be reasonable in all circumstances of the case for the applicant to receive for their maintenance. This financial provision includes the financial needs of the person in both the present and the foreseeable future.”
Inheritance Act claims also relate to those who lived in either England or Wales, meaning that the deceased person must have lived in either England or Wales. The Inheritance Act does not cover those who lived in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, or any of the Channel Islands. The person who wishes to claim can live anywhere.
Who can claim under the Inheritance Act?
Under the Inheritance Act 1975, certain personnel can offer claims according to their obligations and responsibilities. These people are:
- A spouse/civil partner of the deceased.
- A former spouse/civil partner.**
- Children of the deceased, including children or adoption or those reasonably brought into a family.***
- Financial dependants of the deceased.
- In certain cases, cohabitees, who nevertheless must meet certain criteria.****
Is there a time limit to claim under The Inheritance Act?
Yes, there is a time limit to make a claim under The Inheritance Act. This time limit is within six months of the date of the Grant of Probate. The Grant of Probate (aka Grant of Representation) is a legal document that clarifies the true Executor of a Will. In essence, it confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the estate’s financial resources.
If that time limit passes, it may still be possible to make a claim under The Inheritance Act. However, you must contact the court so they can grant permission that the claim can be given authority.
How will the claim be reviewed?
When someone claims under The Inheritance Act, there are several factors the court considers. These are known as Section 3 Factors, and often address (both now and in the foreseeable future):
- Firstly, the claimant’s financial needs.
- Next, the financial needs of any other claimant may have.
- The financial needs of any beneficiary of the estate.*
- Specifically, any financial obligations the late party had to any claimant/beneficiary under The Inheritance Act.
- Also, the size and nature of the estate that the deceased has left behind.
- Not to mention, any eligible claimant/beneficiary who has a physical or mental disability.
- Any other matter, including the behaviour and conduct of the claimant or any other person, that the court deems relevant.
In many circumstances, claims under The Inheritance Act can be resolved by mediation. Working together with all parties, you may not have to go to court.
How the Inheritance Experts assist Inheritance Act Claims
Here at the Inheritance Experts, we work with specialist law firms who specialise in handling Wills and claims under The Inheritance Act. This means they are well-placed to help you get the proportion of the estate you are entitled to.
If you believe you may have grounds for a potential claim, don’t hesitate to contact the Inheritance Experts via the contact form on our website or by calling us on 01614138763.
Our areas of specialism include
- Inheritance Act claims
- Contested Court of Protection
- Disputed Wills
- Disputes over the identification of beneficiaries
- Fraudulent Wills
- Will challenging – Lack of mental capacity
- Asset and property disputes
- Estate administration disputes
- Burial disputes
*This is someone who is not included in the people who can claim under The Inheritance Act, but who the deceased has left something to in their will.
**Providing they have not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership. Additionally, there is no bar on them claiming in the terms of the divorce.
***Regarding what a child of the deceased consists of, the children can be either adult or minor in age. Moreover, stepchildren are part of this stipulation.
****A cohabitee must live in the same house as the late party for a minimum of two years. Furthermore, they must be living as husband or wife of the deceased.
Why should you contact us?
Fixed Fee Lawyers
We offer fixed fees for Wills, Probates & Lasting Power Of Attorney. Our Inheritance department covers all aspects of preparing wills and dealing with a person's assets after they have died to bring a claim.
Our experienced solicitors are experts at dealing with inheritance disputes effectively and efficiently.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert solicitor in England & Wales, who will be there for you every step of the way.