Inheritance Act Claims

Certain relatives and dependants can challenge a will or the rules of intestacy (where the deceased died without a will) if the provision made for them is insufficient by claiming under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

In a case where reasonable financial provision has not been made, the Inheritance Act allows the court to change the shares of the deceased's estate.

Who can bring a claim under the Inheritance Act?

The categories of people who may be eligible to bring an Inheritance Act claim are:

  • The spouse or civil partner.
  • A former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or registered a new civil partnership;
  • A person who was cohabitating with the deceased as 'husband and wife' for at least two years prior to their death.
  • A child of the deceased.
  • A person treated by the deceased as "a child of the family" (for example a fostered or step-child).
  • A person who was being maintained by the deceased.

What is reasonable financial provision?

A spouse or civil partner does not have to be in financial need to make a claim. Anyone else claiming under the Inheritance Act however will need to be able to show that they are in need or were financially dependent on the deceased.  They are only entitled to such reasonable financial provision as is necessary for their maintenance.

Click here to view our Inheritance Act Claims FAQs.

If you would like advice on an Inheritance Act claim, or on any other inheritance dispute or trust dispute, please contact our Disputed Wills and Trusts Team by telephone on +44 (0)1884 203 018 or freephone 0800 0931336, or by email for a free, non-obligatory chat to see how we can help you.

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Disputed Wills and Trusts

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