I have been disinherited. What are my rights?
The 1975 Act
The Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain categories of people to make a claim against the deceased estate if they have not been adequately provided for under the deceased Will or in accordance with the rules of intestacy (when there is no Will).
Who can make a claim?
The following people can make a claim against the deceased estate:
- Spouse or civil partner
- Former spouse or civil partner (provided they have not remarried or entered into another civil partnership)
- Children (including adult children)
- Children of the family (ie step children)
- Cohabitees (provided they have lived together and husband and wife for 2 years prior to death)
- Financial dependant
What will the Court look at?
There are certain criteria that need to be satisfied before someone can make a claim against the deceased estate. These are as follows:
- The deceased must be domiciled in England and Wales at the date of death (this does not include Scotland or Northern Ireland).
- You can only make a claim within 6 months of the date of the Grant of Probate. If the time limit has passed, you will need to request Court’s permission before making an application.
- The applicant (excluding spouses and civil partners) will need to show they were financially dependent on the deceased and that they are entitled to reasonable financial provision. A spouse or civil partner does not have be in financial need to make a claim.
What to do if you think you have a claim?
If you think you are entitled to make a claim under the 1975 Act, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you can claim within the deadline.
Watson Thomas offer a free initial consultation that has no time limit.
If you instruct us on any probate matter before the 31st July 2019, you can also receive a £50 discount on our fees.