Liam Hastings of Hastings & Co Solicitors takes a look at the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (often referred to as “The Inheritance Act”).
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 makes it possible for certain classes of people to make claims on estates. They are commonly referred to as Inheritance Act claims.
Who can claim?
The following classes of people are eligible to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975:-
- the spouse/civil partner of the deceased;
- the former spouse/civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership;
- anyone living with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death;
- a child of the deceased (which could include an adult child);
- anyone treated as the deceased’s ‘child’ (for example, but not necessarily, adopted, fostered or a step-child); or
- anyone being “maintained” by the deceased.
How are claims decided?
The court takes into consideration a number of factors when dealing with Inheritance Act claims including the needs and resources of all the relevant parties and the size and nature of the estate.
Are there any time limits for making a claim?
Claims must usually be made within 6 months from the grant of probate or letters of administration. It is therefore advisable to seek advice as soon as possible.
Hastings & Co Solicitors are based in Chelmsford and Maldon and specialise in litigation including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, contentious probate disputes and disputes about wills. Please telephone Liam Hastings on 01245 835 305 for further advice or assistance.
Disclaimer: this blog is intended to give a brief overview of the law and does not substitute for independent legal advice.