Inheritance Act Claims

 

Inheritance (Provision for Financial Dependants) Act 1975 

 

In the event of a death, the Inheritance (Provision for Financial Dependants) Act 1975 allows anyone who has not received reasonable financial provision to pursue a claim against the estate.  Even if you have not been named in the Will of the deceased, recent case law looks favourably on those who fall within the categories listed under who can claim.

 

It is very important to note that the deceased MUST have been regarded as domiciled in England or Wales at the time of death.  This does not mean you are barred from making a claim if the person was living outside England and Wales at the time of death.  The important point to note is where the courts considers a person to have been domiciled at the time of death.  The case of Morris v Davies and others  highlighted this issue.  The default position is that a person at birth receives domicile of origin.  This remains throughout the persons life unless they require a domicile of choice.   

HH Legal will be able to assess as to whether or not you have a claim should an issue relating domicile arise.

 

Who Can Claim?

 

  • The wife, husband or civil partner of the deceased
  • A former wife, husband or civil partner who has not since remarried or formed another civil partnership.
  • Someone who lived with the deceased for at least two years before the death.
  • A child of the deceased.  This includes adult children.
  • A person treated as a child of the deceased.
  • Someone who has been financially supported by the deceased up until the death.

 

 

What Can I Claim?

The Inheritance Act asks  you to prove that the amount left to you is not enough to meet your needs. What is and is not considered to be reasonable will depend upon a number of different factors, set out in the Act itself, and on your individual circumstances.

We can provide more information about this.

 

 

What if I have not been left anything in the Will?

The case of Illot v Mitson [2011] EWCA Civ 346, highlights that even if you have been SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED from receiving anything from he Will, you may, depending on the circumstances, be awarded an amount of money from the estate.

 

 

What Can HH Legal do for me?

 

We can advise you on the law and your rights, regardless of whether there was a Will or not. We actively participate in training courses offered by Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS for short), who are considered the benchmark of excellence in this area.

 

We have robustly defended claims in this area against prominent solicitor firms forcing them to discontinue their claims. We have taken over files from other solicitors at very advanced stages of litigation, and have managed to force opponents to drop cases or rethink their position on valuing their claims.  We have managed to secure settlements for clients who have initially been told by other solicitors that they did not have a case.

 

What Should I do if a Claim is Made Against Me?

 

You need to act quickly, to avoid your opponent obtaining cost orders against you.  We offer a free no obligation service, and we can offer you comprehensive advice.