Inheritance Act Claims

Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Unfortunately, as well as the emotional issues following a death, there can also be real financial hardship and practical difficulties to deal with, including the risk of losing the roof over your head. 

This could be for the following reasons:

  • You have been excluded from a will
  • You are in a will but have not been left enough to meet your needs
  • There is no will and the Intestacy Rules do not apply to you (especially applicable to unmarried couples)
  • There is no will and provision under the Intestacy Rules is not enough to meet your needs

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 enables certain groups of people to make a claim against an estate when they have not been left reasonable financial provision. The outcome can result in the distribution of the deceased’s estate being changed to ensure that those who should have been provided for get the financial support they need.

How Thornton Jones can help with Inheritance Act claims

If you think you may have a claim under the 1975 Act, you must take advice quickly. You only have six months from the date of a grant of probate to issue a claim at court, unless the court grants permission for a late claim.

Being left without reasonable provision or having to face someone making a claim for provision can be daunting, especially at a time when you are also facing emotional upheaval. 

Our experts act for claimants and defendants in relation to 1975 Act claims. We can advise on the merits and potential value of a claim. Our involvement can take away some of the stresses of having to deal with these matters yourself and we will strive to get the best solution for you.

Talk to us about making an Inheritance Act claim

For expert advice on making a claim against an estate under the Inheritance Act, please speak to our inheritance dispute resolution lawyers in OssettWakefield or Garforth, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

 

How to make a claim under the Inheritance Act

Who can claim under the Inheritance Act 1975?

In order to bring a claim, you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • spouse or civil partner of the deceased
  • former spouse or civil partner of the deceased if not remarried
  • someone living with the deceased, as husband or wife, for at least two years before the date of death
  • child of the deceased (including adult children)
  • someone who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family
  • someone who was being maintained by the deceased. 

You cannot claim under this act if you are a disappointed beneficiary but do not fall into one of these categories.

What is ‘reasonable financial provision’ under the Inheritance Act?

When considering what would be reasonable financial provision many factors are taken into consideration such as:

  • the deceased’s wishes and reasons for any will
  • the nature and length of the relationship with the deceased
  • any obligations of the deceased
  • the personal circumstances of the parties
  • the financial circumstances of the parties
  • the size of the estate. 

Each case is different and is considered on its own merits, so how much you may be able to claim will depend on the circumstances.

How long do Inheritance Act claims take?

There is no set time limit for a claim to be resolved once it has been brought. It can take months or even years depending on the situation.

However, claims can generally be resolved much faster if you are able to agree a resolution amicably between the various parties, avoiding the need for lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

With strong expertise in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and arbitration, we can typically resolve Inheritance Act claims out of court, saving you time and money while reducing the risk of serious damage to important family relationships.

Our inheritance dispute resolution fees

The cost of dealing with an inheritance dispute is obviously an important consideration as you don’t want your legal fees to end up outweighing the provision you are hoping to secure from the deceased’s estate.

We are able to deal with some matters, such as an initial appointment and follow-up letter on a fixed fee basis. This can give you complete certainty over the costs involved.

Where you require ongoing advice and representation, we will typically charge according to an agreed hourly rate based on the level of expertise required. All costs will be clearly explained, so you always know exactly how much our legal services are costing.

Find out more about our fees and funding.

Why choose Thornton Jones when making an Inheritance Act claim?

With decades of experience dealing with all types of inheritance disputes, including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, we can provide clear, pragmatic and sensitive legal support to help you get the best possible outcome for your claim.

We are accredited by the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme reflecting our expertise in a wide range of inheritance law matters, including disputes over wills and estates.

Our team includes Partner Elizabeth Fyfe, who is a qualified Trusts and Estates Practitioner with STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). This is a highly prestigious achievement, with STEP members being recognised as world-leading experts in inheritance law.

The team also benefits from the expertise of Senior Solicitor Nicola White, who is a full member of ACTAPS (The Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Solicitors) reflecting her specialist expertise in dealing with all types of inheritance disputes.

Thornton Jones is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Contact our inheritance disputes solicitors in West Yorkshire

To arrange an initial consultation about making an Inheritance Act claim, please contact our local offices in Ossett, Wakefield or Garforth, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.