Our Wills and Inheritance Disputes team have extensive experience in working with clients to make or defend claims made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Claims brought under this act can empower the courts to redistribute the deceased’s estate where the will or intestacy rules (where there is no will) fail to make “reasonable financial provision” for the individual who is making the application.
We have provided some further details on the 1975 Act below to help you identify whether you may be able to make a claim.
Who can bring a claim under the 1975 Act?
It is open to the surviving wife, husband, cohabitee, children (including step children and children of the family), civil partners or anyone being maintained by the deceased to bring claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
What is reasonable financial provision?
This is a legal term used in the 1975 Act, its definition varies from claim to claim and will depend on what status you are to the deceased. If for example the claim is brought by the surviving spouse, then reasonable financial provision will mean such provision as would be reasonable for a husband or wife to receive, whether or not that provision is required for their maintenance. For all other categories of individuals making a claim, reasonable financial provision would mean such financial provision as would be reasonable for their maintenance.
What can I do if I believe that I have been left out of a will unfairly?
There may be options available to you.
You may be able to challenge the validity of the will or make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 Act, however it is important not to delay seeking advice because there are strict time limits on making claims, for example Inheritance Act claims should usually be made within 6 months of issue of a grant of representation.
How do I pay for legal representation if I want to make a claim?
Funding a legal case is always a concern, which is why we have developed a range of funding options.
One of the most popular ways of funding an inheritance dispute or a contested will is through a particular type of No Win, No Fee arrangement, known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA. If we accept your case on a No Win, No Fee CFA basis then we will not make a charge for our services if you lose your claim. If you win the case then you pay our costs, together with a success fee. We would seek the recovery of your basic costs from the opponent or estate.