The Possibility of Claims Under, The Inheritance
(Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 as amended.
Legal protection has been afforded to people who have not had sufficient financial provisions made for them either by Will or Intestate estates.
In broad terms the act permits claims to a reasonable share of the estate after death, even if the will leaves the claimant nothing.
Claimants could be:
- a wife, husband or registered civil partner;
- a former wife, former husband or former registered civil partner who has not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership;
- children (adopted children claim against the estates of their adoptive parents, not the estates of their birth parents);
- any person who was treated as a child of any marriage or civil partnership to which the deceased has been a party;
- Anyone who considers that he or she maintained by the deceased to a material extent immediately before death.
Maintenance need not be for any minimum period or financial; it can be maintenance by the deceased to a material extent immediately before death.
A partner who was cohabiting with the deceased in the same household as if they were man and wife or civil partners for two years immediately prior to the death can claim without having to prove that he or she was maintained by the deceased.
Proceedings under the Act can be brought in the County Court or in the High Court.
There is a strict time scale in which proceedings must be taken and it is essential that anybody considering a claim take advice immediately.
This is an area of the law that is constantly changing but the Act remains in force. There has been several high publicity cases recently where wills have been disputed with various degrees of success.
If you have any queries, please free to contact us.