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Financial Provision Claims
Mary Butler

Mary Butler
Senior Partner | Head of Contentious Probate and Trusts

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In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim that a deceased person's estate does not make reasonable provision for everyone it should. These claims are made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Claims can be pursued where there is a will and where a person died intestate (without a will).

We have vast experience of dealing with claims under the Inheritance Act. Whatever your role in a claim, we can help. We have advised successful claimants and defendants, including the successful party in Lilleyman v Lilleyman (2012), which is one of the leading cases in this area of law. We also advise executors who find themselves in the middle of a dispute.

To make a claim for provision under the Inheritance Act, a claimant will need to show that they have not been reasonably provided for and that they fall into one of the following categories:

  1. They were the spouse or civil partner of the person who has died;
  2. They were the former spouse or civil partner (in certain circumstances) of the person who has died;
  3. They were cohabiting with the person who has died as if they were spouses or civil partners for at least two years before their death;
  4. They were the child of the person who has died (including illegitimate children and children adopted by the deceased person);
  5. They were treated as a child of the family by the person who has died (for example, a stepchild);
  6. They were being maintained by the person who has died in some way (for example by financial assistance or the provision of accommodation).

The court will take a range of factors into account when deciding whether a claimant has been reasonably provided for. No two cases are the same, but our experience of dealing with Inheritance Act claims enables us to advise you regarding these factors and how they are likely to apply to your specific situation. We will use this analysis to advise you on your options, keeping your specific aims and circumstances in mind at all times.

We recognise that having to deal with a claim under the Inheritance Act is not something that is likely to be a welcome prospect. We will support you throughout your case by explaining the legal issues involved and working to find the outcome that is best for you. We realise that not everyone wants to go to court and we fully recognise and endorse the benefits of seeking to resolve claims through negotiation where appropriate.

Strict time limits apply to claims under the Inheritance Act, and so if you think you may need to pursue a claim then you should seek advice at the earliest opportunity. Our expert team will be happy to have a free, no-obligation discussion with you to assess your potential case.

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