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Inheritance Act Claims

Inheritance Act Claims

Inheritance Act claims under the Inheritance (Provision For Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Click here for full details of the Inheritance Act.

Although a person is allowed to leave their assets to who they wish after their death, the law does provide protection to those who have financially dependant on them whilst they were alive. This protection is covered in the Inheritance Act 1975 (Provision for Family and Dependants).

The Inheritance Act provides assistance to spouses, children, civil partners, cohabitees and other surviving dependants who have been left without sufficient money to enable them to get by. If a will (or intestacy) fails  to make ‘reasonable financial provision’ then an Inheritance Act Claim may be possible.

Under the Inheritance Act, the court has to take into account the applicant’s needs and resources and consider these against what would be reasonable for their maintenance. For more information on this see Section 3 of the Inheritance Act.

Claims by spouses and civil partners are handled differently by the court as it will look beyond what is necessary purely for maintenance and will take a number of other factors into consideration such as:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The age of the person making the Inheritance Act claim

  • The contribution to the welfare of the family that has been made by the person bringing the Inheritance Act claim

  • The provision that the person bringing the Inheritance Act claim might reasonably have expected to receive if the marriage had been terminated by divorce

If you are considering pursuing a claim under the Inheritance Act, it is important that you speak to a specialist Solicitor as soon as possible as you only have 6 months to bring an Inheritance Act claim from the grant of representation to the estate.


Before Making an Inheritance Act Claim

Starting an Inheritance Act Claim can cause a great deal of conflict between family members and we would therefore recommend that you speak to other members of the family first to try to resolve the any conflicts before instructing a Solicitor.

If after speaking with family members you are unable to resolve the situation and you feel that bringing an Inheritance Act Claim is your only viable alternative then we would then recommend that you seek specialist advice.


The Cost of bringing an Inheritance Act Claim

Like any form of litigation, you need to consider the costs and how you are going to pay for the solicitor acting on your behalf. 

Bringing an Inheritance Act claim is subject to the same costs that applies to many other types of litigation. In the end it will be the court that has to decide which party should pay the costs, and although it is common for the costs to be recovered out of the estate this can not be guaranteed. Anyone bringing an inheritance act claim needs to consider what would happen if their claim failed and the estate did not meet their costs.

Each one of our specialist solicitors are independent and may be able to offer you a variety of options to fund you Inheritance Act Claim, these options may include, No Win -  No Fee, Legal Aid (public funding) and paying hourly as a Private Client. In most cases the type of funding arrangement available will depend on the strength of your case.

Contact us today and one of our specialist Inheritance Act Claim Solicitors will be able to advise you on the strength of you case and the likely cost.



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