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Inheritance Act claims


There can be many reasons why you’ve been left out of a will, but those reasons won’t help you with the upset and worry you’ll probably be feeling.

You may have been left out of a will because of a family disagreement or you may find that you have not inherited any money from your loved one’s estate because they failed to leave a will. Under the law of Intestacy, which is used to decide where a person’s estate goes if they left no will, any unmarried partner or step children are not entitled to inherit but there is a chance you can challenge this.

If you think you have been unfairly left out of a will or that you’ve not been properly provided for, it could be worth speaking to a one of our experienced will disputes solicitors about your options. Call us now on 0117 926 4121 for a free initial discussion or make a free enquiry online. Remember, it won't cost you anything to talk to us.

About Inheritance Act Claims

Under English law, when someone dies, they can leave their estate to whoever they want, as long as they leave a will. But the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, usually known as the Inheritance Act, was created so that even when left out of a will, certain categories of people would still be provided for.

These people are:

  • A spouse or civil partner
  • A former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried
  • An unmarried partner, if they lived together as husband or wife for a period of at least two years before death of their partner
  • Any children, including legally adopted children
  • Anyone who was treated as a son or daughter,
  • Anyone who was financially supported.

Being left out of a will can be financially devastating so the Inheritance Act ensures that the people listed above have some financial protection.

When you make an Inheritance Act claim, the court will look at your needs and decide on a reasonable sum to make sure you are maintained.

If you are a spouse or civil partner though, your claim will be treated slightly differently.

The court will also consider lots of other aspects of your relationship with the person who died and your life together. They will consider:

  • Your age

  • How long you were married

  • Your contribution to the family

  • What maintenance payment you could have expected if the marriage had ended in divorce

These factors will affect the amount you will be awarded as long as you have an experienced solicitor effectively arguing your claim.

Time Limits for Inheritance Act Claims

There are time limits set by the court in Inheritance Act Claims and it is really important you speak to a solicitor to get advice as soon as possible.

You only have 6 months from when the Grant of Representation, also known as Grant of probate has been received. You can find out more about probate from our website or on the Gov.uk website.

Probate can be a lengthy process, but you should still call us as soon as you can for advice.

It is sometimes possible to still bring a claim under the Inheritance Act even if you’ve missed this deadline.

Call Us Today

We offer a free initial discussion so you can discuss your circumstances with our professional team. Call us now on 0117 926 4121 to make an appointment or make a free online enquiry we will help you.