The IA 1975 is a very useful law when there is an inheritance dispute. It allows certain categories of Claimants’ to dispute a Will by making a claim for a reasonable financial provision from the Deceased’s estate. This can be used if you have been left out of an Inheritance completely or if you have received a lesser share than they expected. The Act can also be used to dispute an inheritance where an estate has fallen under the rules of intestacy.
Who can make a claim?
- Spouse/civil partner
- Former spouse of civil partner if they have not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership.
- Anyone living with the Deceased two years prior to their death.
- Child of the Deceased (including adult child).
- Anyone treated as the Deceased’s child (eg. step-child).
- Anyone, who at the time of the Deceased’s death, was maintained by the Deceased.
What can they claim for?
- A spouse/civil partner can claim all that is reasonable in the circumstances whether or not it is for their maintenance.
- All other applicants can claim for all that is reasonable in the circumstances for their maintenace.
Spouse and Civil Partner:
A spouse/civil partner does not need to prove any financial need. Potentially, they can recover much more under the Act than other applications as they do not need to prove that the money is necessary for their maintenance.
All other applications:
You do not need to be maintained by the Deceased prior to their death for a successful inheritance dispute claim. The key question is one of financial need.
The court will look at the needs of the applicant and the needs of the beneficiaries under the Will.
Examples of those with a strong claim include:
- Those unable to work because of a disability.
- Those on benefits who are unable to secure employment.
- Those in low paid jobs with little prospect of increasing their wage.
- Those with dependants to provide for.
- Those who are still in education and are not yet in a position to earn a wage.
- Anyone who would describe themselves as struggling financially, especially in comparison to other beneficiaries or applicants.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and all types of Claimant will be considered.
Alongside financial needs, the court will also have to have regard to, the size and nature of the estate in question, any obligations of the Deceased towards to Claimant, any matters of conduct and any disabilities of those involved in the case when they make their decision.
There are very strict time limits for bringing a claim under the IA 1975. A claim normally must be brought within 6 months of the date of the Grant or Probate. Therefore, time is of the essence and if you think you may want to dispute an inheritance under the Act then you should seek immediate legal advice.
Here at Crime Zone Legal , we specialise in making these claims. We act for a variety of Claimants from a disabled child of the Deceased, to an adult step child in full time employment. If you have an inheritance dispute and you are eligible under one of the above categories to make a claim then please do not hesitate to contact us.