Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
The Act permits applications on the grounds that “the disposition of the deceased's estate effected by his Will or the law relating to intestacy is not such as to make reasonable financial provision for the applicant.”
A claim can be brought by:
- A spouse or civil partner
- A former spouse or civil partner who has not entered into a subsequent marriage or civil partnership
- A cohabitee living as either a spouse or civil partner (for at least two years leading to death)
- A child of the deceased (including an ‘adult’ child)
- A person treated as a child of deceased
- A person who was maintained by the deceased prior to death
The Act provides a number of specific factors the court must consider and cannot provide a capital windfall except in the case of a spouse or civil partner of the deceased. All other applicants can recover only what is reasonably required for their maintenance.
A claim under the Act must generally commence before or within 6 months of the Grant of probate (or Letters of Administration if there is no will). Frequently, such claims involve investigative work and consequently it is important to take advice as soon as possible.
For further advice on any of the above or to arrange a no obligation meeting, contact John Melville-Smith on 020 7725 8027.