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Inheritance Act Claims

Who is entitled to make a claim?

  • Husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased.
  • Former husband or Wife who has not remarried or, former civil partner who has not formed a subsequent civil partnership.
  • A child of the deceased.
  • A person treated by the deceased as a child of the family.
  • A person who immediately before the deceased’s death was being maintained by the deceased, either wholly or partly.
  • A person who was living in the same household for the whole period of two years ending before the death of the deceased as the husband or wife or civil partner of the deceased.

What are the grounds for making a claim?

There is only one ground for bringing a claim which is that the disposition of the deceased’s estate (either via their will or upon intestacy i.e. where they did not leave a valid will) is such that it does not make reasonable financial provision for you.

How long do I have to make a claim?

There is a strict six month time limit which applies to Inheritance Act claims. The time runs from the time that a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are issued.

What matters will the court take into account of when making a determination of a claim?

(a) the financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(b) the financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c) the financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(d) any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant or towards any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

(e) the size and nature of the net estate of the deceased;

(f) any physical or mental disability of any applicant or any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

(g) any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant.

What orders can the court make?

  • For periodical payments to be made to for such term as the court considers appropriate.
  • A one off lump sum payment for a sum specified by the court.
  • An order for the settlement of property.
  • A right to live in the property for the remainder of your life i.e. lifetime interest, for  property to be transferred to you absolutely or,  a property to be purchased for you.
  • An order varying pre nuptial or post nuptial settlement.
  • An order varying the benefit of property held on trust.
  • An order varying the disposition of the estate.    

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