If a Will is valid, a party may still be able to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, provided that any such claims were issued within six months of the grant of probate.

The object of the Act is to bring about a redistribution of the deceased’s estate, on the basis that the Will (or intestacy) does not make reasonable financial provision for the applicant.

An applicant can be

  • a spouse or civil partner for the deceased
  • a former spouse or for the partnership of the deceased
  • a child of the deceased
  • a person (not a child) who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family
  • any person being maintained (either wholly or partly) by the deceased at the time of death.

An applicant must then consider two further questions:

  1. has the terms of the deceased’s Will or intestacy made a reasonable financial provision for them?
  2. if not, what would be such reasonable financial provision?

These questions are considered by reference to the Act and established test principles. In the case of a spouse or civil partner, the claim is limited to maintenance: in the case of other applicants, “reasonable financial provision” means that which would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

The law, time limits and procedure in such cases is complex and specialist stuff. We have the experience and expertise to advise you and assist to you in bringing or defending such a claim. Please contact a member of the Disputes team.


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