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What is an Inheritance Act Claim?
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 enables certain individuals to bring a claim against an estate for financial support.
When can an Inheritance Act claim be made?
A claim under the Inheritance Act could be made in a number of circumstances including:
- Where you have been left nothing in the Will of your husband or wife, partner, parent, close relative or someone who supported you financially whilst they were alive.
- You have been left something, but it is not enough to support you financially.
- The “deceased” never got around to making a Will and therefore the intestacy rules apply (these set out what people get where there is no valid Will) and you don’t receive anything, or enough, from their estate.
This may apply to the following people:
- Husbands and Wives
- Civil Partners
- Those financially supported during the deceased’s lifetime
Often individuals are left in financial hardship, and we can make an urgent application for money from the estate if necessary. It may be that you are being told to leave your home and need to ensure you keep a roof over your head.
The importance of acting quickly in Inheritance Act Claims
It is important that you take early advice as there is a time limit that applies and you may lose a claim if you don’t instigate proceedings within 6 months of the issuing of a grant. However, there is no need to delay as the claim can be progressed as soon as the deceased has died.
We will support you throughout the process and ensure that you receive the right level of financial assistance that you need.
Help for beneficiaries of estates that are faced with someone making an Inheritance Act claim
We also act for beneficiaries of an estate when faced with someone else bringing a claim against the estate for financial assistance. We will advise you on whether there is a valid claim, and if so, what order they are likely to get from the Court.
These types of claim often settle before proceedings and we will ensure that you achieve a good settlement. It is important that you don’t pay too much. In fact, if they are asking for too much cash or assets from the estate, we will fight your corner and defend the action. We will also design a strategy to try and avoid you or the estate paying the applicant’s legal costs.
Executor assistance in Inheritance Act claims
If you are an executor, it is crucial that you remain neutral to avoid the risk of you not recovering your costs from the estate, or worse, having to personally pay someone else’s costs. This is not always easy, particularly when you knew that the deceased didn’t want the applicant to benefit or receive more from the estate.
For more information or a chat with our talented team, please contact us. We have many years’ experience in this area and will be able to put your mind at rest and explain the possible ways forward.