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Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 a claim can be made by a person to either become a beneficiary, or a greater beneficiary, of the estate of the deceased. The object of the Act is to bring about a redistribution of the deceased’s estate between the beneficiaries and the applicant, on the ground that the disposition of the deceased’s estate effected by their will or the law relating to intestacy is not such as to make reasonable financial provision for the applicant.
Persons entitled to make a claim under the Act:-
The application must be made within six months of the grant of probate or letters of administration. This is a strict time limit although the Court does have the discretionary power to extend the time limit.
The meaning of ‘reasonable financial provision’ will differ depending on the status of the applicant. If the applicant is a spouse of the deceased the test is: such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for a husband or wife to receive, whether or not that provision is required for their maintenance. In the case of any other applicant, including a former spouse of the deceased, ‘reasonable financial provision’ means such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to receive for their maintenance. Quite often clients need advice when a party to a second marriage dies without a will and there may be problems surrounding children from a previous marriage.
Thus, if you want to make a claim and you are not the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, your claim will be limited to maintenance.
Please contact our Litigation Department on our mobile friendly number 033 33 22 1000 or 0800 987 8156 to arrange a meeting and speak to a Solicitor.
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