What is an Inheritance Act Claim?

Portrait of Helen Hall
Author:
Helen Hall
Associate Solicitor, Dispute Resolution
Date:
30/11/2021

Certain people can make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if they were excluded from a Will or someone they were financially dependent on didn’t leave enough provision for them.

Even if the person who died didn’t leave a Will, it’s still possible to make an Inheritance Act claim if you didn’t receive anything or enough to meet your needs.

You can make an Inheritance Act Claim for one of 3 reasons:

  • You were left out of a Will
  • You weren’t left as much as you expected or need
  • No valid Will was left behind

If any of the above apply to you, and you’d like to know more about making an Inheritance Act Claim, get in touch with our Contentious Probate Solicitors for expert legal advice.

Call us on 0808 239 4634 or request a callback

Who can make an Inheritance Act Claim?

Only certain people are covered by the Inheritance Act. They are:

  • A husband, wife or civil partner
  • A former husband, wife or civil partner (if they’ve not remarried)
  • Someone who lived with the person who died as if they were their husband, wife or civil partner for at least two years before their death
  • Children, including adopted children and those who have been treated as if they were a child of the deceased e.g. step children
  • Someone who was being financially maintained by the person who died

Any of the above can make an Inheritance Act Claim if ‘reasonable financial provision’ wasn’t made for them. If you’re unsure whether you fall under any of the above, our specialist team can advise you.

What is Reasonable Financial Provision?

If someone left you reasonable provision before they died, it means they’ve provided for you financially and left you enough to meet your needs. This only applies if you were financially dependent on the person who died up until their death.

The Court won’t necessarily just look at the minimum amount that you require to meet your financial needs. They might also take into account:

  • Your daily living expenses
  • Your relationship with the person who died
  • Any disability you have
  • The total value of the Estate
  • Your financial resources and needs
  • The financial needs of any other Beneficiaries
  • If the person who died had any obligations towards you
  • How much money you might have received in a divorce or separation (if the person who died was your husband, wife or civil partner)

To make a successful Inheritance Act Claim, the Court needs to be convinced that reasonable financial provision was not made for you when it should have been.

Our Contentious Probate Solicitors have helped many people bring a successful claim under the Inheritance Act. We can help you put forward the strongest possible case and aim to get the outcome you deserve.

How to make an Inheritance Act Claim

We recommend getting legal advice as early as possible before starting an Inheritance Act Claim. Our Contentious Probate Solicitors offer a free case assessment, where we’ll look at your individual circumstances and tell you whether we think you’ve got a successful chance of making a claim.

We’ll gather and review any evidence of your financial needs and relationship with the person who died, and if we think you have a good claim, put forward a claim on your behalf.

Usually, we aim to resolve Inheritance Act Claims through negotiation and mediation, without the need for Court. If your case does need to go to Court, don’t worry, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Time Limits for an Inheritance Act Claim

You have exactly 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate (if there was a Will) or Grant of Letters of Administration was granted (if there was no Will) to make an Inheritance Act Claim.

This is a strict time limit so it’s important to get expert legal advice as soon as you can so you don’t miss out on making a claim.

Get in touch with our Contentious Probate Solicitors today to talk through your options. We can often handle these claims on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

For free initial case assessment call our Contentious Probate Solicitors

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