What is the Inheritance Act 1975?

The Inheritance Act 1975 allows a wide range of people to make a claim against an estate wherein the deceased’s will does not make reasonable financial provisions for them or in cases of intestacy.  Such provision can be procured from monetary assets as well as from others forming part of the estate.

Who can claim under Inheritance Act 1975?

The following people are eligible to claim:

  • The spouse or civil partner of the deceased
  • The former spouses or civil partners of the deceased, provided they haven’t married again or engaged in another civil partnership.
  • Children of the deceased
  • Any person who was considered as a child of the marriage or civil partnership
  • The cohabitant of the deceased

Under Section 3 of 1975 Act, following factors would be taken into consideration by the court before making a decision to grant a financial provision to the claimant.

  • The size and nature of the estate of the deceased.
  • The financial resources/assets and needs of the applicant
  • The financial resources/assets and needs of other applicants
  • The financial resources/assets and needs of the beneficiaries
  • If the applicant or beneficiary is physically or mentally disabled.
  • If the deceased is indebted or has any responsibilities towards any applicant or beneficiary
  • Any other factor including conduct or behaviour which the court finds relevant.

The Court also considers some factors relating to particular type of claimant.  For instance, in the case of a spouse or civil partner, the court will consider the age of the claimant and the duration of the marriage or civil partnership.  They will also take into account the claimant’s contribution to the well-being of the deceased’s family and what the claimant would have received in the event of divorce or dissipation.

The Court will finally make orders if they are satisfied that reasonable financial provision has not been made for the claimant.  This order may include the transfer of assets to the claimant, payment of lump sum money out of the deceased’s estate to the claimant, periodical payment by the estate for a stipulated period of time.

 

Satwinder Sahota Satwinder@sanderswitherspoon.co.uk 01277 889251 01277 219125 Billericay, United Kingdom

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