Claims For maintenance under the Inheritance Act
The Inheritance Act 1975 enables a claim against an estate to be made when there is evidence that the claimant was financially dependant upon the Deceased.
To make a claim against an estate, the Act provides that only the following persons can claim :-
- A surviving spouse or ex-spouse
- Children of the Deceased or someone treated as a child of the Deceased
- Someone who was living with the Deceased for 2 years
Successful claims under the Inheritance Act
If a claimant is successful with their claim, then it will be up to the Court ( unless otherwise agreed ) to award ` such sum as would in all the circumstances be reasonable `.
The type of factors considered by the Court include :-
- The age of the parties
- The financial needs of the claimant both now and in the future
- The size of the estate
- Any obligations the Deceased may have had towards the Claimant
- Any physical or mental disability
And any other factor which the Court considers relevant.
Given the nature of such cases, the starting point is always to get details of any financial dependency, thus what was the extent of their financial reliance on the Deceased ? By calculating this, an accurate assessment can then be made as regards to future needs.
Time limits for making a claim
There is a very important time limit to making a claim under the inheritance Act which is just 6 months from the date of when probate is issued. As a result of this, it is critical that legal advice is sought immediately in order to ensure the claim is made in time.
Our experience in handling dependency claims
We have years of experience in handling dependency claims and have recently acted in the following claims :-
- Claims made by Children of the Deceased, against their Father. The Deceased was divorced. Under the terms of the divorce settlement, the Deceased had agreed to provide regular financial payments until his Daughters attained the age of 21. Despite this the Deceased remarried and failed to leave any provision for his Daughters under his Will. We successfully helped the Deceased two daughters claim for financial support throughout their university education.
- Successful claim made by wife of deceased whose Husband changed his will following an argument. The change of will was made in haste and there was overwhelming evidence of the Wife’s dependency on the Deceased.
- Successful claim made by children of the Deceased. The Deceased had children from his first marriage. He sadly committed suicide and left no provision having remarried. We successfully recovered damages for the Children who were clearly reliant upon the Father for financial support.
- Numerous Claims by Adult Sons and Daughters who have been left out of wills despite struggling financially and been in urgent need for financial support eg. on benefits with no employment or owned property
Want to contest a will? as the Will fails to leave adequate financial provision for you?
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