If you have been left out of a Will, or have been left less than you need, you may be able to make a claim under The Inheritance Act 1975.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, more commonly known as The Inheritance Act 1975 is quoted as “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.” This means, in simple terms, it is an act to make sure that, when a person passes away, provision is made in their estate to every beneficiary. A beneficiary is anyone who receives something in a Will.
Inheritance Act claims are claims that can be made by certain categories of people against an estate of a deceased person, where reasonable financial provision has not been made for that person in the Will. In the Inheritance Act, reasonable financial provision is defined, for all except spouses and civil partners, as a financial provision that would be reasonable in all circumstances of the case for the applicant to receive for their maintenance. For spouses and civil partners, it is not limited to maintenance. Inheritance Act claims also relate to those who lived in either England or Wales.
So, who can claim under the Inheritance Act?
Under the Inheritance Act 1975, claims can be made by certain people. These people are:
- A spouse/civil partner of the deceased;
- A former spouse/civil partner of the deceased (providing they have not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership, or there is no bar on them claiming in the terms of the divorce);
- Children (adult or minor) of the deceased, including adopted children and any person who was treated as a child of the deceased (eg step-children);
- Financial dependants of the deceased;
In certain cases, cohabitees. To be able to claim, cohabitees need to have lived in the same house as the deceased for a minimum of two years, and they had to be living as husband or wife of the deceased.
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 is a legal document which is applied for by the Executor of a Will that confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.
How the Inheritance Experts can help
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 simply by giving us a call.