If you have been excluded from a will, have not been left as much or what you were expecting, or did not inherit due to the rules of intestacy, it may be possible to make a claim using the Inheritance Act.
An individual may leave their estate to anyone they want, BUT the law does make provision for those who might reasonably expect an inheritance but are excluded or receive less than they need. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Inheritance Act) seeks to protect those who are financially dependent on another person who then passes on without leaving them with a sufficient inheritance to satisfy their financial needs. Claims can also be made where no will actually exists and the rules of intestacy have been applied. In the event of a successful claim, the Inheritance Act allows the court to change the way the estate is distributed.
Those who are protected by the Inheritance Act include: spouses and civil partners, children (both minors and adults), including adopted children and step-children, former spouses/ civil partners (if they haven’t remarried), someone who continually cohabited with the person who died for at least two years before their death or someone who was financially maintained by the person who died.
Please note that an Inheritance Act claim must be made within six months of the date that probate was granted. In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to apply to court for an extension to this time limit, but we would urge you to make contact with a solicitor as soon as possible to avoid an unnecessary risk.
We understand how sensitive these types of matters are, our knowledgeable team are dedicated to ensuring the process is made as easy as possible for you and your family