Inheritance Act Claims

For many years people’s last wishes could only be challenged by disputing the way the Will was made.  This created an undesirable situation where the last wishes excluded, for whatever reason, people who the law considers should have benefitted from the estate.  Equally, where a person died without making a Will, the strict intestacy rules  can deny those who might otherwise have a legitimate interest in the estate.

The Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 provided a means by which a person could seek to challenge the reasonableness of the wishes set out in the Will, or the effect of intestacy and ask the court to alter the provisions appropriately.

In order to bring a successful claim, the person challenging the Will needs to be able to show that the Will (or the intestacy rules where there is no Will) do not make reasonable financial provision.  How the courts interpret the Inheritance Act depends on a number of factors unique to each Claimant.

There is a time limit of 6 months from the date of the grant of probate.  In some cases the grant may not be taken out immediately.   Claims can be made out of time but there is no guarantee a court would accept your claim and late claims also prevent you from using all of the provisions in the Inheritance Act.

We have been bringing and defending Inheritance Act claims for years and have been involved in particularly complex Inheritance Act claims, including those involving:

  • a 60 year old Claimant
  • illegitimate children
  • disabled claimants
  • secret civil partnerships
  • apparently insolvent estates

We are always happy to have an initial conversation without making a charge and we will discuss the funding options with you.

In many cases, the estate of the person about whom the matter relates may have to pay some or all of the costs of the process.

For further information contact us 01392 207020 or email

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