How to claim ‘reasonable financial provision’ from an estate

If you have not been sufficiently provided for in a will, or you have been cut out entirely, you may be able to make a claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’ from the estate.

Am I eligible to make a claim?

The following people can make a claim:

- The spouse or civil partner of the deceased;

- An ex-spouse or civil partner of the deceased (who has not remarried and who did not received a final financial settlement following the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership);

- Someone who was living in the same household as the deceased as a spouse or civil partner during the whole two year period immediately before the date of death;

- A child of the deceased of any age (including illegitimate and adopted children, and someone treated by the deceased as a child of the marriage or civil partnership);

- Someone who was maintained wholly or partly by the deceased immediately before his death (except paid domestic staff, etc.).

What are the criteria for making a claim?

Factors taken into account when deciding if someone has a valid claim include their financial resources and needs, and those of other applicants and the beneficiaries; the obligations and responsibilities of the deceased; the size and nature of the estate; their age; the duration of the marriage (if applicable); and their contribution to the welfare of the family of the deceased, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family.

How do I make a claim?

You or your solicitors should write to the executor/administrator of the estate making your claim for reasonable provision from the estate. If no agreement can be reached, ultimately it may be necessary to bring court proceedings.

What’s the time limit?

Any claim under the Act must be made within six months of the issue of the grant of probate.

This note provides general advice and is not intended to apply to any particular set of circumstances. To discuss your situation call the team on 01656 661115.

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