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Posted 12 August 2019
by Martin Laver

Carer wins Inheritance Act award from Grandparent’s estate

Person in a field silhouette

Can a family member who was being paid to care for a family member make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if they are left out of a will?

Yes, said the court in a case earlier this year.

Lynsey Delaforte successfully claimed against her late grandmother’s £650,000 estate.

Ms Delaforte sacrificed a promising career in ballet to care for her grandmother who suffered from dementia. She had moved into her grandmother’s home and provided her with 24 hour care for 7 and a half years. During that time Ms Delaforte received a state benefit and a small weekly payment from her grandmother.

However, an old will did not provide Ms Delaforte with any financial provision. Instead, Ms Delaforte’s mother and uncle were the only beneficiaries to inherit from the estate.

The claim was made against the estate and Ms Delaforte’s uncle, who was financially comfortable defended the claim. Ms Delaforte’s mother supported her claim. The claim was made on the basis that Ms Delaforte cared for her grandmother because of love and devotion, not as part of a contract in return for payment. The Court agreed. This was on the basis that “it simply represents reasonable financial provision for her maintenance” and was not a reward for her care over the years.

The court granted a £110,000 award to Ms Delaforte. £66,000 was provided from her uncle’s share of the estate, and £44,000 was paid from her mother’s share of the estate.

This is an interesting example of an Inheritance Act claim because the payment for the care could easily be misconstrued and weigh against the person bringing the claim.

If you would like some advice on whether you may be able to dispute a will, please contact a member of our Disputed Wills & Trusts Team on 01392 207761 or willdisputes@tozers.co.uk.

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About the author

Martin Laver

Partner and Solicitor

Partner in the commercial litigation team specialising in disputed trusts and Wills