If you’ve been left out of a Will, or not been left as much as you need, you may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance Act. Our solicitors can help you make an Inheritance Act claim, or defend one if your inheritance is being threatened by a claim.

For a consultation about your Inheritance Act claim, call us on 0345 604 4895 or contact us online.

What Is The Inheritance Act?

A person is entitled to leave their estate to whoever they want. However, there are some people who might reasonably expect to have a share of it.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is a law to protect people who are financially dependent on another person when they die. It means that some dependants can claim against a Will that doesn’t provide a reasonable amount of inheritance for them.

People who are covered by the Inheritance Act can include:

  • A spouse or civil partner.
  • Children (both minors or adults), including adopted children or someone who has been treated as a child of the marriage (step-children for instance).
  • A former spouse or civil partner – if they have not remarried.
  • Someone living continually with the deceased for at least two years before their death.
  • Any person being financially maintained in some way by them.

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When Can You Make An Inheritance Act Claim?

Our specialist solicitors could help you make an Inheritance Act claim if:

  • The deceased didn’t leave a valid Will (this is known as intestacy)
  • You’ve been left out of the Will
  • You’ve not been left as much as you need.

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Inheritance Act Claim Time Limits

You have six months to make an Inheritance Act claim, starting from the date probate was granted.

In some circumstances you may be able to apply to the court for an extension, so it’s still worth contacting us if you’re out of time but you think you might have a claim.

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How Much Does It Cost?

Most of our clients pay privately for our expert advice. Sometimes, we might be able to offer you a funding arrangement, but this is strictly subject to assessment (which will incur a charge) and at our discretion. Funding may include:

  • Private fee paying (most common)
  • Legal Expenses Insurance
  • Payment on conclusion
  • Conditional Fee Arrangement.

The options available may vary. They depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The type of claim
  • The value (to ensure costs remain proportionate)
  • The number of parties
  • The risks we identify.
  • If appropriate, our lawyers will discuss any options available for your particular claim at the outset.

    We’ll always try and tailor the method of paying to your circumstances where possible.

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    Why Choose Us?

    Whether you’re making a claim under the Inheritance Act or defending one, our solicitors can help. We have the largest Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team in the country and we specialise in dealing with complex estates of many different sizes and value.

    We understand how sensitive inheritance disputes can be and work towards amicable resolutions wherever possible. Our lawyers are expert negotiators and mediators, and will always try to settle claims out of court with a minimum of fuss. However, if it comes to it, we’re experienced taking claims through the court process and will support you every step of the way.

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    Contact Us

    Call us today on 0345 604 4895 or contact us online.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are The Common Grounds For Making A Claim?

    There are many different reasons for making a claim under the Inheritance Act, and each case must be considered on its own terms. However, some of the common circumstances include:

    • An estranged child or spouse has been left without financial provision
    • The financial provision made for someone named in the Will is insufficient for their needs
    • A person’s financial needs have changed, either before or after the deceased’s death, and the Will does not recognise this change in circumstances
    • If the deceased died without a Will, any partner living with them would not automatically inherit, as the intestacy rules do not include provision for unmarried partners. Find out more about contesting probate where there is no Will.

    In some cases it may also be that all parties agree that the Will should be adjusted, and just need legal advice to work out the exact details. This can be common if children are involved or where there are issues regarding potential tax consequences.

    If you’re unsure whether or not you have a claim, our specialist team are here to advise you. Call today on 0345 604 4895 or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

    What Will The Court Take Into Account In An Inheritance Act Claim?

    There are a number of things a court must consider when reviewing a claim under the Inheritance Act. These include:

    • Your financial needs and resources
    • The size and nature of the estate
    • What obligations and responsibilities the deceased had to you
    • Any disabilities you have, whether physical or mental, that make financial provision necessary
    • The needs and resources of those named in the Will and any others who have claims on the estate.

    If you’re making a claim as a spouse or civil partner, the court will also take into consideration things such as how long you were together.

    They might also look at other relevant factors, such as the conduct of the parties. Each case is different and there is no blanket rule for who is entitled to what.

    We understand that these claims come at a time that is already emotionally demanding, and by their very nature can be deeply personal. We have the experience and expertise to support you through the process and ensure you get the best outcome possible.

    Call our team today on 0345 604 4895 or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

    Who Can Claim Under The Inheritance Act?

    Inheritance Act claims are decided on a case by case basis and depend on the particular circumstances of the applicant and their relationship to the deceased, as well as the details of the estate itself.

    In general, children, partners, and any other dependants of the deceased might all expect reasonable provision from the estate. ‘Children’ can include step-children, as well as anyone who was treated as a child of the family, even if they aren't related. 

    Your relationship to the deceased will also determine what you are entitled to and the level of financial need you must prove. While spouses and civil partners do not have to show evidence of financial need, children and other dependants do have to. They are then entitled ‘reasonable provision’ for their maintenance.

    If you’re unsure of whether or not you have a valid claim, we urge you to get in touch today – the time restrictions for making a claim under the Inheritance Act are very strict.

    Call to speak to one of the team on 0345 604 4895 or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

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