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Defending a Claim Brought by Deceased’s Partner Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Mar 09, 2017
Daniel Winter was instructed by the children of the deceased gentleman (Mr A) who died without leaving a will.  Mr A’s estate was worth several million pounds.  A lady claiming to be Mr A’s partner (the Claimant) claimed that she was entitled to reasonable financial provision from Mr A under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 valuing her claim in excess of £1m on the basis she (a) had lived with Mr A as his wife for more than the final two years and (b) Mr A financially maintained by her immediately prior to his death. 

In addition a separate claim was made by the claimant for payment out of Mr A’s pension fund which fell outside the Estate valued at over £1m.

After a full assessment of all the facts claim and with assistance from time to time from leading Counsel  the 1975 Act action was defended on the basis that: 
a) The Claimant was not a cohabitee within the meaning  of the 1975 Act; 
b) The Claimant was not as a person who, immediately before the death of Mr A was being maintained either wholly or partly by him. 
c) The Claimant’s claim to maintenance was based on illegal or fraudulent use of Mr A’s accounts and therefore was barred
e) The Claimant was in fact indebted to Mr A’s Estate to repay a considerable sum.

In respect of the Pension claim, after an exhaustive review of the applicable pension rules a comprehensive submission was made by Daniel Winter to the Pension Trustees designed to take the Trustees through the decision making process step-by-step with reference to the rules and making representations for each step why the Trustees should exercise their discretion in favour of the children and not the Claimant.

This resulted in the Trustees awarding the entire Pension fund proceeds to the children.

Daniel then successfully concluded the Claimant’s claim for financial provision under the 1975 Act at mediation.

The total result was that the children received the vast majority of their father’s estate and the Claimant’s claims were disposed of for a fraction of the sums claimed without taking on the risk and costs of a trial in Court.

Daniel Winter

About the author

Daniel Winter

Daniel is a Partner and the Head of Commercial and Property Litigation Team. Having graduated from Cardiff University in 2000 with a degree in law ...

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