Inheritance disputes and Inheritance Act claims

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There are occasions when someone in financial need is 'left out' of a will or is not adequately provided for by the intestacy rules or the will. For example, a spouse, civil partner or cohabitee may have died without leaving enough financial help to his surviving spouse, partner, cohabitee or others financially dependent on him.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain categories of people to make a claim against an estate where 'reasonable financial provision' has not been made for them.

There is a time limit for bringing claims under this Act. Court proceedings must be issued within six months of the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration being obtained.

A court will take a number of factors into account when considering claims under this Act and it can make a variety of different types of order if a claim is successful.

We have substantial experience in advising those bringing claims under the Act and those defending such claims, either as executors or beneficiaries of an estate against which a claim has been brought.

While it is often necessary to issue court proceedings in respect of these inheritance disputes, such claims are frequently resolved by negotiation or mediation, without incurring both the financial and emotional costs of legal proceedings.

We offer expert advice on:

  • bringing claims under the 1975 Act
  • defending claims on behalf of beneficiaries
  • the role of executors in 1975 Act proceedings
  • court procedure
  • mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Recent work highlights

Claim by disabled son

Acting for an adult child with a minor disability in a claim against his late mother’s estate.

Executor guidance

Advising executors of their role in claims and the information that they are required to provide.

Cohabitee rights

Acting for a cohabitee whose partner died without leaving a will and who therefore inherited nothing from his estate.

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP