At CTT Law, We’re Here to Secure Your Future
We understand that losing a loved one is never easy, and it can be even more challenging when their Will doesn’t adequately provide for you or, in some cases, doesn’t provide at all. In such moments, it’s crucial to know your rights and explore the options available to you.
Your Path to a Secure Tomorrow
English law has always respected an individual’s right to distribute their wealth as they see fit. However, there are situations where a lack of reasonable provision can leave a loved one in financial distress. If you’re facing such a situation, you may have grounds for an Inheritance Act Claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Empowering You to Act
In recent years, Inheritance Act Claims have become more common. This underscores the importance of understanding the Act, knowing who can benefit from it, the key considerations of the court, and the potential awards if your claim is successful.
To make an Inheritance Act Claim, the deceased must have been domiciled in England or Wales at the time of their passing. Importantly, this restriction doesn’t apply to the applicant; you can reside anywhere in the world.
Time Is of the Essence
If you’re considering an Inheritance Act Claim, it’s crucial to act swiftly. There’s a strict time limit for bringing a claim – court proceedings must commence within six months from the date of the Grant of Probate. Missing this deadline doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t proceed, but it requires the court’s permission, which is not guaranteed.
Are You Eligible?
To pursue an Inheritance Act Claim, you must fall into one of the following categories:
- A spouse or civil partner of the deceased.
- A former spouse or civil partner, provided you haven’t remarried or entered into a subsequent civil partnership.
- Someone who lived with the deceased as if they were a spouse or civil partner for two years before their death.
- A child of the deceased.
- Someone treated as a child of the family by the deceased.
- Any person who was wholly or partly maintained by the deceased before their passing.
Navigating the Intricacies with Expertise
Embarking on an Inheritance Act Claim can be a complex journey. Even if you qualify to make a claim, a successful outcome is not guaranteed. The court will meticulously scrutinise various elements, taking into account multiple factors to reach a fair decision.
These factors can include:
- Financial Resources and Needs: The court examines your financial resources and foreseeable needs. It also considers these aspects for any other person making a similar claim.
- Beneficiaries’ Financial Resources and Needs: The court assesses the financial circumstances and future needs of the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.
- Deceased’s Obligations and Responsibilities: The court takes into account the obligations and responsibilities that the deceased held towards you, as the applicant, and other beneficiaries of the estate.
- Estate Size and Composition: The court reviews the size and nature of the deceased’s estate. The value and type of assets involved may be essential in determining what can be justly distributed if anything.
- Physical or Mental Disabilities: Any physical or mental disabilities, either for you, as the applicant, or any beneficiaries, are also factors considered by the court.
- Relevant Circumstances: The court takes a holistic view, acknowledging any other circumstances that may be relevant to your case. This could include the conduct of the applicant, or any other parties involved.
The court’s power under the Inheritance Act 1975 is bound by the principle of providing only what is reasonably necessary for the applicant’s maintenance. This standard is aimed at ensuring that you can maintain a decent standard of living without experiencing either extravagance or destitution. However, if you are the surviving spouse or civil partner of the deceased, your claim may consider the lifestyle you enjoyed before their passing and what you would have been entitled to if your relationship had ended through divorce instead of death.
Legal Expertise: Your Guiding Light through the Process
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. When navigating the complexities of an Inheritance Act Claim, expert legal guidance is invaluable. Our team is here to help you make sense of these intricate legal processes and work towards a favourable resolution that secures your financial future. If you’re considering an Inheritance Act Claim, or if you find yourself defending one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 01926 563 670. Your peace of mind is our priority and as part of our service we may be able to offer you a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your specific needs.