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Claims Against Estates

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When someone dies their Estate will usually be distributed according to either their Will or the Intestacy Rules.

In some cases, the Will or the Intestacy Rules fail to provide for someone who was entitled to rely on the deceased before their death. This might be children, a partner or other relatives.

Claims can be brought against the Estate to provide for those who had a dependency. Successful claims will result in the terms of the Will or the application of the Intestacy Rules being varied to provide for those who need a share of the assets of the Estate.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 sets out the basis for financial claims for those who:-

  • Have been left out of a Will,
  • Have not been left enough under a Will or Intestacy,
  • Who do not benefit from an Intestacy and need to.

A spouse or civil partner is entitled to such financial provision as is reasonable in all the circumstances, whether or not that financial provision is needed for their maintenance.

All other claimants are entitled to such reasonable financial provision as is necessary for their maintenance.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows claims to be made by people in the following categories:

  • the spouse/civil partner of the deceased;
  • the former spouse/civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership;
  • someone who was living with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death;
  • the deceased’s child (which includes an adult child);
  • someone who was treated as the deceased’s ‘child’ eg. a step-child or adopted child; or
  • anyone who was being maintained by the deceased.

The amount that can be claimed is limited to the value of the Estate but will always depend on the particular financial circumstances of any given claimant.

If you think you may have a claim against an Estate contact our team who will be pleased to provide an initial assessment.