Who can claim under the Inheritance Act?

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If you’re interested in making an Inheritance Act claim, then it’s crucial that you understand how inheritance law works in the UK.

Luckily, the team of specialist inheritance lawyers at Freeman Jones Solicitors have helped countless clients with their inheritance claims, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe and knowledgeable hands.

Below, we explain who is eligible to make an Inheritance Act claim in the UK how likely it is that your claim will be successful.

What is an Inheritance Act claim and who can make one?

An Inheritance Act claim is a claim for compensation made against the will of a deceased person under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This claim is made by someone that is financially dependent on the deceased.

These inheritance claims can be made by a dependent if they believe that the deceased’s will hasn’t provided them with a reasonable amount of inheritance that will allow them to maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed.

Ultimately, the aim of making an Inheritance Act claim is for the claimant to receive a sufficient share of the deceased’s estate, regardless of whether there was no will, they were left out of the will, or the inheritance they received is significantly less than expected.

Often, spouses, civil partners, children (both biological and adopted), and individuals that were treated as children by the deceased, such as stepchildren, can make an Inheritance Act claim if they were financially dependent on the deceased.

Former spouses and civil partners can also be eligible to make an Inheritance Act claim if they haven’t remarried.

What is the time limit for making Inheritance Act claims?

In the UK, claimants have just six months from the grant of probate (or grant of letters of administration) to make an Inheritance Act claim with the court.

In some cases, you can make an Inheritance Act claim after six months using Section 4 of the Inheritance Act, but this is only permissible in very exceptional circumstances and you must contact the court to explain the reason behind the delay and obtain their express permission.

How successful are Inheritance Act claims?

Keen to avoid unsuccessful Inheritance Act claims? Unfortunately, every Inheritance Act claim must be assessed individually, so there’s no way of knowing exactly how successful your claim is likely to be until all the evidence and facts are reviewed.

When reviewing your claim, the judge will take into account a number of factors including the size of the deceased’s estate, the deceased’s relationship with the claimant, as well as the claimant’s financial needs and disabilities.

At Freeman Jones Solicitors, our experienced team can assess your case and help you to understand how successful your Inheritance Act claim is likely to be, so please feel free to contact our helpful team today.

How do I defend an Inheritance Act claim?

On the other hand, when it comes to defending an Inheritance Act claim, you will need to prove that the claimant has no right to financial provision from the deceased’s estate.

As soon as you receive an inheritance claim against you, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced inheritance solicitor. With the right legal support, they can help you to gather relevant legal documents regarding the deceased’s estate and any other evidence that might help you to defend the claim.

Expert support with Inheritance Act claims

At Freeman Jones Solicitors, our expert team of lawyers is well-versed in all areas of inheritance law in the UK, including Inheritance Act claims.

As a result, if you think you’re entitled to a share of a deceased person’s estate or you’re struggling with resolving inheritance disputes following the passing of a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional team today.

Among resolving many other inheritance-related legal issues, we can provide in-depth legal support with defending contested wills, handling disputes with executors, and settling disputes relating to invalid wills or wills with errors.

If you’d like to learn more about the legal services available at Freeman Jones Solicitors or are ready to book your free, 20-minute, no-obligation consultation, please feel free to give us a call on 01244 506 444.

Alternatively, you can also get in touch by sending your enquiry via email to info@fjsolicitors.co.uk, filling in our online contact form, or visiting your local Freeman Jones Solicitors branch.

We’ve opened offices across the UK, including areas like Chester, Liverpool, Warrington, and Wrexham, so please feel free to pay our friendly team a visit.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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