Inheritance Act Claims
Did you know that after you have died, even if you have made a will, a judge you do not know, in a court you may never have been to, at a time you cannot predict, may overturn your final wishes and do something entirely different? Many people are surprised to hear about the possible effects of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Applications for ‘reasonable financial provision’ under the Inheritance Act can be made by:
- a spouse or registered civil partner (or a former spouse/civil partner) if they have not “remarried”
- a co-habitee of at least two years
- a child or a step child
- any other person who immediately before the death was being maintained by the deceased
If the application is successful the court can order a lump sum, periodical payments or a transfer/settlement of property
These cases need to be handled sensitively. To avoid substantial costs if the dispute ends up at trial, creative settlement solutions need to be considered at an early stage including at round table meetings and mediations.
We routinely act for claimants, personal representatives and beneficiaries. As a result we see things from both sides which can help promote an early settlement if it is both sensible and possible.