Making a Claim Under the Inheritance Act

What are the grounds for making a claim under the Inheritance Act?

The basis for making a claim is simply that reasonable financial provision has not been made by the deceased for the claimant.

Unfortunately, this simplicity hides a difficulty in determining what might be reasonable financial provision, as there are different classes of claimants and each claimant within each class will require different financial provision.

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The 1975 Act is not intended to be grounds for disappointed beneficiaries although the Courts do recognise the concept of moral obligation, particularly in cases of hardship.

It is up to you and your solicitors to show the Court that the provision you have been left (if any) is not sufficient to meet your needs.

The Courts would look at the following questions:

  • Does the Will (or intestacy provisions) make reasonable financial provision for the applicant
  • If not, should the Court intervene so as to award such provision from the estate
  • If so, what type of provision is appropriate in this particular case?

The basis for making a claim is simply that reasonable financial provision has not been made by the deceased for the claimant.

How does the Court decide the merits of the claim?

The following factors will be taken into account by the Court when deciding the merits of the claim:

  • The size and nature of the deceased’s estate
  • The financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • The financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant for an order under the Inheritance Act from the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • The financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
  • Any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant for an order or towards any beneficiary of his estate
  • Any physical or mental disability of any applicant or any beneficiary of the estate
  • Any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant

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