In England & Wales you generally have the freedom to leave your estate to whomever you please. However, it is becoming increasingly popular for certain people to apply to the Court under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for provision to be made for them from your estate.
At Latimer Lee Solicitors Limited we are aware of such claims and consider the same when drafting your Will. We may suggest to you that you include a non-provision clause in your Will to exclude a member of your family or alternatively provide a written statement setting out the reasons why you have not made a provision for someone. If the reasons are true and accurate the Court will take them into account.
What happens if someone makes a claim against my estate?
A person wishing to make a claim against your estate has six months from the date of the Grant in order to make a claim to the Court. Therefore, the Personal Representatives are strongly advised to delay distribution of the estate until the matter has been resolved.
Who can make a claim?
A number of people may make a claim against your estate but it does not necessarily mean they will be successful, as the Court will need to consider whether that person has received adequate provision given the circumstances of the case. These people include:-
- Spouse/ civil partner
- A former spouse / civil partner that has not remarried
- Any person living with the deceased for a period of two years prior to death
- Child of the deceased
- A person who has been treated as a child of the deceased
- A person who has been maintained by the deceased.
At Latimer Lee Solicitors Limited we have a team of probate and litigation solicitors who work closely together to manage contested probate cases to conclusion.