Has anyone been disinherited?
Has a financial dependant been missed out either by the deceased’s will or intestacy?
If this is the case it adds another level of complexity for the executors or personal representatives.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain categories of Claimant to apply to the Court for provision out of a deceased’s estate, when reasonable financial provision has not been made for them either under the deceased’s will or intestacy.
If people in the following categories have been left little or nothing either by will or intestacy, they can apply to the Court under the above Act for some reasonable provision to be made in their favour:
Spouse or civil partner.
- Children (including step-children who have been treated by the deceased at any time as children of his/her family).
- Former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or formed a new civil partnership (unless the divorce settlement states otherwise).
- Unmarried couples (including same sex couples) who have been living together for at least two years.
- Anyone who was being maintained by the deceased immediately before his/her death.
If this is the case we strongly recommend that the personal representatives or executors seek professional advice immediately. Advice could defuse possible conflicts.
Court action can be very expensive, often outweighing the possible benefit with an uncertain outcome. Moreover, the stress of a time and energy consuming process over possibly years can have a lasting and negative effect upon all parties.
One possible option is for beneficiaries to vary their gift in favour of another within two years of death.
If you would like a telephone conversation with one of our advisers please click here