Inheritance Act Claims

Our solicitors are experienced in defending or bringing inheritance act claims.

More about Inheritance Act Claims

At Forbes Solicitors, our inheritance act claims solicitors can provide expert advice and representation on all aspects of inheritance disputes and claims.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 provides a mechanism for certain categories of people to make a claim against an estate if they feel that reasonable financial provision has not been made for them.

What is the Inheritance Act?

What is the Inheritance Act?

This is a UK piece of legislation. It enables certain categories of people to ask for financial provision or more generous financial provision to be made for them out of the estate of a person who has died. Most claims are made by the surviving spouse of the deceased, their children and/or persons who cohabited with them or were partly or wholly financially dependent upon them.

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

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?

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. Forbes Solicitors are experienced in defending or bringing Inheritance Act and contesting a will 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.

Why choose our solicitors who specialise in Inheritance Act claims?

Why choose our solicitors who specialise in Inheritance Act claims?

We have a team of solicitors who specialise in Inheritance Act claims and are dedicated to providing expert and effective legal solutions to clients seeking to bring or defend a claim against an estate. With years of experience in acting for parties in Inheritance Act claims, we have a proven track record of success in achieving favourable outcomes for our clients. We pride ourselves on our compassionate approach, transparent communication, and commitment to achieving the best outcome we can for our clients. Choose us for expert legal representation.

Who do our Inheritance Act claim solicitors help?

Our Inheritance Act claim solicitors help claimants who have been left out of a Will or not adequately provided for by a deceased family member or party. They also act for defendants who are seeking to defend a claim against an estate in which they are beneficiaries.

How can our Inheritance Act claims lawyers help?

How can our Inheritance Act claims lawyers help?

If you need a lawyer who specialises in Inheritance Act claims, our team can help you to make a claim for financial provision from an estate if you have been left out of a Will or not provided for adequately.

Alternatively, we can act in your defence of a claim against an estate in which you are a beneficiary. We can provide expert advice on your legal rights and options, negotiate with the other parties involved, and represent you in court if necessary. Our goal is to help you achieve a fair and just outcome, and to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

Inheritance Act Claims FAQs

Who can make an Inheritance Act claim?

Under UK law, certain individuals can make an Inheritance Act claim, including spouses or civil partners, children, former spouses or civil partners, cohabiting partners, and dependants. These individuals must demonstrate that they have not been adequately provided for in the deceased's Will or under the rules of intestacy.

What are the grounds for making an Inheritance Act claim?

Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, individuals can make a claim if they are a spouse, former spouse, child, cohabitant, or dependent of the deceased and believe that the will or intestacy rules do not provide them with reasonable financial provision. The claim must be made within six months of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The applicant must show that the deceased has failed to make reasonable financial provision for them.

How long do I have to make an Inheritance Act claim?

Under UK law, you have six months from the date of the grant of probate to make an Inheritance Act claim. However, the court does have a discretion to allow a claim allow a claim to be made outside of this time limit.

What is the process for making an Inheritance Act claim?

To make an Inheritance Act claim the claimant must be an eligible person, such as a spouse or child of the deceased. They must then file a claim with the court within six months of the Grant of Probate. The court will consider factors such as the financial needs of the claimant and those of the beneficiaries of the estate. It is recommended to seek legal advice before making a claim.

What evidence do I need to support my Inheritance Act claim?

To support an Inheritance Act claim you will need to provide evidence that you are an eligible claimant, such as a spouse, child, or dependent of the deceased. You will also need to demonstrate that the deceased did not make reasonable financial provision for you in their will or under the intestacy rules. Evidence of your financial needs and resources will be relevant. It is recommended to seek legal advice to ensure you have the necessary evidence to support your claim.

What happens if the claim is successful?

If the claim is successful, the claimant will receive an award as determined by the court. The amount of the award will depend on the nature and extent of the court's assessment of the claimant's financial needs and resources. The defendant may also be ordered to pay the claimant's legal costs.

What happens if the claim is unsuccessful?

If a claim is unsuccessful, the claimant will not receive an award. They will not be able to recover their legal costs from the defendant and may also be required to pay the defendant's legal costs, which can be substantial. It is important to carefully consider the strength of a claim before pursuing legal action to avoid the risk of an unsuccessful outcome.

Can I still make an Inheritance Act claim if the deceased did not leave a Will?

Yes, you can still make an Inheritance Act claim if the deceased did not leave a Will. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain individuals to make a claim for reasonable financial provision from the estate of a deceased person, regardless of whether or not they left a Will.

Our dedicated Contesting a Will team

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Partner, Contesting a Will

John Lambe

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Partner, Contesting a Will

Tom Howcroft

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Senior Associate, Contesting a Will

Rebecca Beaumont

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