An individual can make a claim on the estate of a deceased on the basis that the Will or the intestacy (i.e. no Will was ever made) failed to make reasonable financial provision for the individual.
A person who wants to bring a claim must “qualify” by having a certain relationship to the deceased, generally:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Civil partners and former civil partners
- Children of the deceased
- People treated as a child of the deceased (even if not blood related)
- People maintained financially by the deceased
- Cohabitees (i.e. unmarried couples or same sex couples) if certain requirements are met
In addition, those suffering from disabilities sometimes have strong claims for inheritance, or an increased inheritance, if they were not left a sufficient sum.
Unmarried Couples and Civil Partnerships
When somebody dies without leaving a Will, there may be people who will be disappointed not to receive an adequate (or any) inheritance under the laws of intestacy.
This is often the case with unmarried couples or same sex couples who have not formally become Civil Partners, but lived in the same household. There is no automatic right to inherit for unmarried or not formally recognised partners. However, many people simply do not realise they may have a right to claim an inheritance. It is not just partners who may be affected by the intestacy laws, as often children or other relatives will not receive a reasonable amount and may have a claim worth pursuing.
If you believe you may have a claim for inheritance you should seek advice immediately. Strict time limits apply to make a claim so do not delay. At Nockolds we are experienced in representing both claimants and defendants in inheritance disputes.
For further information on inheritance disputes and to find out how we can help you, please contact our Will and Trust Disputes Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Daniel Winter, Partner in our Will and Trust Disputes Team.