A claim may be made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 on the grounds that the distribution of the deceased’s Estate under their Will or under the rules of intestacy does not make reasonable financial provision for the person bringing the application.
The people who may apply are:
- the spouse of the deceased;
- a former spouse who has not remarried;
- a child of the deceased;
- anyone else who was treated as a child of the family by the deceased in respect of any marriage of theirs;
- anyone else who was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased immediately before their death.
There are important considerations over jurisdiction and time limits and if you think you have a possible claim you should take advice as quickly as possible.
Reasonable financial provision for a spouse is ‘such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for a husband or wife to receive’. It is not limited to maintenance. For all other applicants, however, reasonable financial provision is limited to maintenance.
In deciding cases the Court considers a checklist of relevant factors similar to that which is used in divorce cases. A useful starting point is to consider what the outcome would have been if the couple had divorced before the deceased died.