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Expert Inheritance Claims Assistance

A bereavement is always a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, it can also lead to financial uncertainty for those left behind. If you suffer financially due to a death you may be able to apply to the court under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision from the deceased's estate. To do so you must belong a category of people who are eligible to make such a claim.

Who is eligible to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975:
  1. The wife or the husband of the deceased
  2. A former wife or husband of the deceased who has not remarried
  3. A co-habitee of the deceased provided that he or she had lived with the deceased in the same household for at least two years immediately before the death of the deceased
  4. A child or stepchild of the deceased
  5. Any person who was maintained by the deceased immediately before the death

What are the criteria?

To succeed with a claim the court must be satisfied that the provision made for the applicant under the deceased's will (or under the rules of intestacy) is not sufficient. A number of factors are taken into account by the court when it determines whether reasonable provision has been made. For example, the following are considered:
  1. The financial resources and needs of the applicant and the beneficiaries of the estate
  2. Any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards the applicant and beneficiaries
  3. The size and nature of the estate
  4. Any physical or mental disability of the applicant or other beneficiaries
There are other factors that will be taken into account, depending on the status of the applicant.

Time Limit

An application for reasonable provision must be made no later than six months from the date of the grant of probate (or grant of letters of administration if there is no will). A court can allow an application after six months has elapsed but only in exceptional circumstances.

What power does the court have?

The court has the power to override the provisions in the will (or the rules governing intestacy, where there is no will) and may order, for example:
  1. A lump sum or regular payments to the applicant
  2. A transfer of the deceased’s property to the applicant
  3. That income arising in the estate be paid to the applicant
  4. That property be acquired by the estate for the benefit of the applicant
The court may make a whole variety of other orders, depending on the circumstances of the case.

How Howells Solicitors can help

This is a complicated and delicate area of law. Howells Solicitors are experts at helping people to claim reasonable financial provision from estates, and also, defending estates that are confronted by a claim.

Early legal advice is essential if you wish to pursue or defend your interests effectively. For further details about how we can help please contact us on 02920 40 40 20 today.

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