Client Guide: Inheritance provision

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This Act provides that certain people who consider that they will not receive reasonable financial provision from the estate of someone who has died (whether or not a Will is left) may apply to the court for some financial provision to be made for them.

The people who are able to apply are:

  • the deceased's spouse or civil partner
  • the deceased's former spouse who has not remarried, or former civil partner who has not yet married or entered into a new civil partnership
  • any person who, during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the date of death, lived in the same household as the deceased and as partner (either married or civil) of the deceased
  • any son or daughter of the deceased
  • any person who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family
  • other dependants, ie people to whose needs the deceased had been making a substantial contribution up to the date of death.

The claim must be made within six months of the issue of the grant by the Probate Registry, but application can be made to the court for this time limit to be extended.

If the executors or administrators distribute the estate and a claim under the Act is made later they may find they have to pay the claim from their own resources.  Blake Morgan accordingly advises that substantial distributions should not be made from the estate until six months after the issue of the grant.

In certain cases, however, eg where the executors or administrators are themselves absolutely entitled to the whole estate, they may feel that they wish to distribute the estate within the period.

If after carefully considering the above you feel that there will be no claims against the estate please let us have your written instructions to distribute it accordingly. If, as will happen in most cases, a distribution cannot be made then the estate money will be placed on deposit until we are able to make a distribution.  All interest earned on the account will be credited to the estate.

For further information please contact: