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How much is my Inheritance Act claim worth?

Posted on 25th January 2022 in Dispute Resolution

How much is my Inheritance Act claim worth?

When a loved one dies, it will be distressing to learn that their will did not sufficiently provide for you. This may be because of the size of the estate, the gift, or whether or not the person died without a will.  There are often complicated circumstances.

A claim may be made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, more commonly known as the Inheritance Act; in order to receive a fair share of the will. This is permitted where the Court decides that what you are currently receiving is not sufficient in the circumstances.

 

What is a sufficient provision?

You may have heard the term reasonable financial provision mentioned – but what does this mean? Simply put, this is the general term used by the Inheritance Act to describe what you require from an estate based on your own financial situation as well as what is in the estate, and who else might have an expectation from the estate. The Inheritance Act looks to protect those who were dependant upon the deceased, and would suffer a detriment to their daily life without the continuing support they once enjoyed.

Claims are usually brought by the most closely affected parties, such as children, spouses, and other family members. A person who has been living with the deceased for a period of two years just before their death has been left out of the will, or not adequately provided for, may also be able to bring a claim.

Spouses/civil partners are not limited to maintenance where reasonable financial provision is concerned, and the courts sometimes look at what might have happened in a divorce. This is predicated on the general understanding of an equality of assets from the marriage, which should be reflected in the award – and may change accordingly.

Other claimants who are not spouses are limited to reasonable financial provision for their maintenance. This means looking at what you income and expenses are and what you might need for the future.

Each claim is considered on its own merits and so there is no “one size fits all” answer to the question.  Instead, the Court will look carefully at your position, the estate and the other parties involved in the claim. It will also take account of any disabilities you or another potential claimant might have when make a decision.  There is no maximum award size and this has led to some notably large awards in the case of very wealthy individuals.

All cases are different and considering all relevant information as to the circumstances of your case is critical in deciding whether or not to pursue a claim.  We have the expertise to assist you in forming a view of any potential claim you might have.

 

How can we help?

For help with dispute resolution, including disputed Wills, as well as deputies and attornies, please visit our dedicated Dispute Resolution page.

Contact our expert Dispute Resolution lawyers

 


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Posted by

Martin Laver

Partner and Solicitor