Provision for Family and Dependants

Where a Will fails to make reasonable provision for family and dependants, they are entitled to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This can be brought in the High Court (Chancery or Family Division) or to any County Court. It is a condition that the person who died was domiciled in England or Wales, although they do not have to have died there.

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Application Under The Inheritance Act 1975

What Is The Timeframe For An Applicaiton Under The Inheritance Act 1975?

An application should generally be brought within 6 months of the grant. However, the Court has the discretion to allow later applications.

Who Can Bring An Application Under The Inheritance Act 1975?

To bring an application you have to be one of the following:

  • A surviving spouse or civil partner of the deceased
  • A former spouse or civil partner (providing you have not re-married/formed another civil partnership)
  • A cohabitee who has lived with the deceased for the whole of at least the previous 2 years immediately prior to death
  • Any child of the deceased
  • Any child treated by the deceased as a child of their family in connection with a marriage/civil partnership
  • Anyone who was being financially supported/maintained by the deceased immediately prior to death

How Is The Financial Provision Calculated?

The financial provision is what is considered reasonable in the circumstances. The Court looks at the financial needs and resources, any moral obligation there may be to support, the size and nature of the estate, any physical or mental disability of the dependant and "any other relevant matter".

The Court can make an Order against any asset of the estate and any gift made within 6 years before the death. It may Order maintenance (periodical payments), lump sum payments, a transfer of property, the estate to purchase property or variation of any marriage settlement which was previously reached.

Need More Information?

These claims can be complicated and are regularly disputed. If you would like to speak to an expert, please contact us now, so we can best advise you on your situation.