Inheritance Act Claims

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, was brought into place to make further financial provision for the surviving dependents of the deceased. This can apply to close family members, step-children, partner or spouse and those being 'maintained' by the deceased. Forbes Solicitors are able to act on your behalf in regards to Inheritance Act Claims and our specialist Dispute Resolution solicitors are on hand of offer the right legal support for you.

Inheritance Act Protection

While we are all free to dispose of our assets as we please, the law does provide protection for those who were financially dependent on the deceased and for those who:

  • Have not inherited as a result of intestacy (no valid will was made)
  • Have been left out of the will entirely
  • Have not been left as much as they need

If you are the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, inheritance claims are different to those of other family members, as the court will look beyond what is necessary purely for maintenance and will take the following factors into consideration:

  • The age of the person making the claim
  • Duration of the marriage
  • The contribution to the welfare of the family that has been made by the person making the claim
  • The provision that person might have expected to receive if the marriage had ended in divorce. This is sometimes known as 'Fiction Divorce.'

When should an Inheritance Act Claim be made?

It is worth noting that judges have a wide discretion to redistribute assets to produce a fair result. Each case is considered on its own individual facts and two different judges may come out with two vastly different outcomes.

Any application under the Inheritance Act must be made within six months of Personal Representatives obtaining a grant of probate. If claims are made outside of the time limit, the court's permission will be needed to begin proceedings – this only happens in exceptional circumstances.

How Forbes Solicitors can help you

Forbes Solicitors are experienced in defending or bringing Inheritance Act Claims. We always recommend, wherever possible, that claims should be mediated outside of a court environment. Out of court Dispute Resolution (DR) may involve mediation or 'round table' negotiations and are usually more cost effective than the court.

If you need legal advice on inheritance disputes then get in touch by using our online form or calling us on freephone 0800 689 3206.

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