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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.

Can I bring a Claim?

Persons entitled to make a claim under the Act:-

  • the spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
  • a former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased who has not formed a subsequent marriage or civil partnership;
  • a child of the deceased;
  • any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage or civil partnership to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage or civil partnership;
  • any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased.

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.

What is a Reasonable Financial Provision ?

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.

At Kew Law we have the knowledge and the expertise to best advise you on whether you have a claim.

Contact us or call our call our mobile friendly number on 033 33 22 1000 or 0800 987 8156 to book an initial consultation with a Solicitor.

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