Financial Provision Claims

Financial Provision Claims

Under the law of England and Wales, everyone is free to make a Will and to leave their estate to whoever they choose upon their death. In the absence of a Will, the Intestacy Rules will govern which family members are entitled to inherit the estate.

For a variety of reasons this can lead to results which may be considered unfair. It is open to the beneficiaries of estates, under a Will or the Intestacy Rules, to redirect some or all their inheritance to someone else, if they wish to do so, by Deed of Variation.

If matters are not resolved in this way, the Courts have wide powers and discretion to step in and make “reasonable financial provision” for applicants who satisfy the criteria set out under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

Claims must be brought within 6 months of the Grant of Probate issuing in the deceased’s estate, although the Court may allow claims to be brought out of time if there are good reasons.

The following categories of claimant are entitled to apply:

In the case of a spouse, the Court has full discretion when making an award to the applicant out of the estate.  All other applicants are limited to what they need for their maintenance, although the Court may award a lump sum or make other arrangements rather than order ongoing payments out of the estate.

Our team of experts at Wake Smith can advise applicants, executors or beneficiaries in relation to these matters, including on the factors the Court will consider and how their discretion may be exercised in a particular case.  Representation can be provided through all stages of the claim, and in any negotiations for settlement, including at mediation.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to make an enquiry online please click the 'contact us' button, or alternatively you can call us on 0114 266 6660.

Not what you are looking for? Click here to see how else our Will, Trust and Inheritance Disputes team could help you.

Contact us