Bringing a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can be a necessary step for someone who genuinely believes they have not been provided for in a will or under the intestacy rules. Those who seek a fair and reasonable provision of the deceased’s will must consider certain factors before bringing a claim.

Who Can Make a Claim?

The Act sets out certain guidelines with regard to the individuals who have the right to make a claim against an estate if they believe they’ve not been adequately provided for. This includes:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Cohabiting partners
  • Someone who was living with the deceased as a spouse or civil partner for the two years prior to the deceased’s death
  • Someone who was treated as a child by the deceased
  • Any other person who was dependent on the deceased before their death.

What are the Time Limits?

There are strict time limits imposed by the Act, any claim must be brought within 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate. Failure to commence proceedings before these deadlines will deplete your chances of success in your claim.

In exceptional circumstances the court might allow some deviation from the time limits however this is at their discretion and only applied in a small number of cases.

What Awards can be made by the Court?

The court has wide discretion when it comes to ensuring that the claimant is adequately provided for from the deceased’s estate. These include:

  • Transfers of Property
  • Maintenance for day-to-day expenses
  • Lump sum payments
  • Periodic Payments
  • Settlement of trusts
  • Legal costs

Does the claim have to go to court?

There are a number of alternative routes that could be followed to solve an inheritance dispute. The claim could be negotiated and settled or an agreement could be made through mediation. However, ultimately there is a route to court if these methods fail to bring about a desired solution.

If you think that you have a potential claim against an estate or are faced with a potential claim then seeking legal advice as soon as possible in the process will give you the greatest chance for success.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only