Inheritance Act Claims Solicitors

We can help you to secure reasonable financial provision from an estate with an Inheritance Act claim

When someone dies, their dependants will often have certain expectations about what they should receive from the deceased’s estate. Where those expectations are not met, it can be very shocking and upsetting, with the potential to leave those dependants in financial difficulty.

Where a dependant has been disappointed in the provision made for them from a loved one’s estate, it may be possible to make a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This is often referred to as an ‘Inheritance Act claim’.

Inheritance Act claims can be made on the grounds that the distribution of the deceased’s Estate under their Will or under the rules of intestacy does not make ‘reasonable financial provision’ for the person bringing the application. What is considered reasonable financial provision will depend on the circumstances.

Get experienced, expert help with Inheritance Act claims

Our Inheritance Act claims solicitors can help with:

  • Understanding whether you are entitled to reasonable provision from an estate
  • Making an Inheritance Act claim
  • Inheritance Act claims advice for executors and estate administrators
  • Negotiating reasonable provision from an estate

Exceptional specialist expertise focused on your needs

We are experts in resolving a wide range of personal legal disputes, including inheritance disputes, with our team being ranked for litigation and dispute resolution by leading client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Several of our lawyers are also individually ranked or recommended, including our Head of Dispute Resolution, John Wiblin and our Head of Private Client, Richard Horwood.

Our team hold prestigious professional memberships including with The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and The Private Client Section of the Law Society.

Speak to our Inheritance Act claims solicitors

To discuss your requirements with our experienced Inheritance Act claims lawyers, please get in touch.

01992 300333                     Ask a question

Our Inheritance Act claims services

Advice on whether you are entitled to reasonable provision from an estate

Only limited types of people are able to make an Inheritance Act claim against an estate and only in specific circumstances. It is therefore important to make sure you are clear whether you are eligible to claim before moving forward.

The people who may apply for reasonable financial provision from an estate under the Inheritance Act are:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • A former spouse who has not remarried
  • A cohabitee of the deceased
  • A child of the deceased
  • Anyone else who was treated as a child of the family by the deceased in respect of any marriage of theirs
  • Anyone else who was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased immediately before their death

There are important considerations over jurisdiction and time limits. If you think you have a possible claim, you should take advice as quickly as possible.

Our Inheritance Act claims solicitors will be happy to advise you on whether we believe you may have grounds for a claim and the process for doing so.

Making an Inheritance Act claim

If you believe you have not been left reasonable provision from a deceased person’s estate, we can advise you on whether you are eligible to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. If you are, we can then support you through the entire process of making a claim.

We can assist with Inheritance Act claims where:

  • You were left a bequest in a Will, but it does not meet your needs
  • You were cut out of a loved one’s Will
  • A loved one died without leaving a Will and you are not entitled to inherit under the intestacy rules

We will always seek to negotiate an amicable agreement with the executors/estate administrators and any other beneficiaries where appropriate.

Inheritance Act claims advice for executors and estate administrators

If you are the executor or administrator of an estate and someone informs you of their intention to make a claim under the Inheritance Act, it is vital to get specialist legal advice straight away. Our team can advise you on how to respond, keeping in mind your duty to the deceased and the other beneficiaries.

We will provide realistic advice on whether the claim is likely to succeed and your options, including where it may be appropriate to agree with the other beneficiaries that you should settle the claim.

Negotiating reasonable provision from an estate

Our team can settle the vast majority of Inheritance Act claims without the need for court proceedings, relying on our skills in constructive negotiation. Settling a claim voluntarily between the parties is usually in everyone’s best interests as it is faster, the legal costs tend to be much lower and damage to family relationships can be avoided.

Applying to a court for reasonable provision from an estate

In those cases where a voluntary settlement cannot be agreed, it may be necessary to take the matter to court to achieve a fair resolution. Where court proceedings are required, we can make sure you have expert representation, giving you the best possible chance of securing your desired outcome.

Our Inheritance Act claims fees

The cost of making or defending an Inheritance Act claim has to be balanced against the value of the estate and the amount in dispute. We are completely transparent with our fees and will give you clear, upfront guidance on the likely costs involved, so you can make a sensible decision about whether it is worth moving forward.

Our Inheritance Act claims solicitors work efficiently and intelligently to minimise our costs behind the scenes, while maintaining the highest levels of service for our clients. This allows us to provide the exceptional legal support our clients deserve at a competitive rate.

Where appropriate, we are able to offer some types of support on a fixed fee or capped fee basis, giving certainty over your costs.

To find out more about the fees for Inheritance Act claims advice and to request a cost estimate, please get in touch.

Key facts about Inheritance Act claims

What counts as ‘reasonable financial provision’ from an estate?

A key question when considering an Inheritance Act claim is how much you might actually be entitled to receive as ‘reasonable provision’ from the estate.

The essential principle is the level of financial support that it would have been reasonable to expect the deceased to have provided to the applicant if they were still alive.

Should the matter come before the court, they will consider factors such as what the applicant’s financial needs are, their relationship to the deceased, the value of the estate and the needs of any other dependants of the deceased.

What is the time limit for making an Inheritance Act claim?

If you wish to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, you must do so within 6 months of the date of Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

How long do Inheritance Act claims take?

This will depend on the circumstances. If a settlement can be agreed out of court, then most Inheritance Act claims can be resolved in less than a year. However, where court proceedings are required, the process can take much longer.

Speak to our Inheritance Act claims solicitors

To discuss your requirements with our experienced Inheritance Act claims lawyers, please get in touch.

01992 300333                     Ask a question

Case Studies

  • Contesting a claim made by a family member  against the executors of an estate relating to a provision in the will for a proportion of the estate to be left to charity. Our advice helped our clients to overcome the claim and ensure the smooth administration of the deceased’s estate.
  • Supporting the beneficiaries of a family will to claim their rightful inheritance. We helped our clients to defend a claim against them brought by the deceased’s partner concerning a property that constituted part of the estate. After an unsuccessful mediation, a settlement was reached that allowed our clients access to property that was rightfully theirs.
  • Defending a claim by our client’s brother that our client had pressured his elderly mother to change her will and leave her home to our client only. At the trial we called the solicitor (from another firm) who had prepared the will. She told the court that she had met alone with the elderly lady, who the solicitor described as ‘formidable’, and the lady had predicted to her that her disinherited son would try to challenge the change in her will after her death. The claim against our client was dismissed.
  • Defending the trustee and beneficiary of a trust who has been subject to misappropriation of trust funds by her co-trustee, negligent advice from a professional, stalking and harassment. We are providing a full-service approach for the client, seeking to protect her interests while advising her on the personal matters of stalking and harassment.
  • Advising the executors of an estate in a dispute against a former carer of the deceased regarding unauthorised transactions made from the deceased’s bank accounts before and after his death. Further advising the executors in a claim against a bank that breached its own terms by allowing the former carer to empty an estate bank account without the consent of the joint account holders.
  • Defending a claim challenging the validity of a will by the daughter of the deceased. The daughter is a minor beneficiary and five charities are the major beneficiaries to the will. The daughter believes that, due to her father's mental health issues, he was not in a sound state of mind to understand and approve the changes made to his will that largely disinherited her.
  • Assisting a minor in state care who is without parental or other family support, regarding a claim for sufficient funds from the estate of his adoptive late father.
  • Settling a claim by an elderly widow whose late husband left her only one-fifth of their marital home and no funds to enable her to support herself for the remainder of her life. She has moderate dementia, lives in a warden-assisted flat and currently receives no state care benefits.
  • Advising the beneficiaries of their late grandmother’s estate on a claim to challenge the validity of the will on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity of the grandmother, and a claim against the executor in undue influence.


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