When making a Will one must consider whether the terms of the Will could be challenged, resulting in a costly legal dispute. Sometimes, dependent on what the author of the Will, wants there is simply no way of avoiding the risk.
One of the reasons a Will may be challenged is when a close family member believes that they have not been awarded any entitlement or sufficient entitlement from the Estate pursuant to the Will.
To be able to bring an inheritance claim pursuant to Section 6 of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972, the person bringing the claim must be:
- A spouse of the deceased person;
- A person who has been divorced from the deceased person;
- The domestic partner of the deceased person;
- The child of the deceased person;
- A child of a spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person, being a child who has been maintained wholly or partly, or who is legally entitled to be maintained wholly or partly by the deceased person immediately before their death;
- A child of the child of the deceased person;
- A parent of the deceased person who satisfies the Court that they cared for or contributed to maintenance of the deceased person during their lifetime;
- A brother or sister of the deceased person who satisfies the Court that they cared for or contributed to the maintenance of the deceased person during their lifetime.
Generally, claims are brought by the spouse/domestic partner or children of the deceased.
However, grandchildren, parents or even siblings of the deceased can also qualify to bring claims in a deceased persons Estate.
An example of a grandchild’s claim is a recent matter in which Lindbloms Lawyers acted for a grandchild.
Our client’s grandfather had passed away. His Estate was left to his two surviving daughters. Our client’s mother was the third daughter, but she had predeceased the grandfather.
No provision was made for the granddaughter in the Will of her late grandfather, despite her late mother being the deceased’s daughter.
Our client brought a claim pursuant to the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act seeking provision be made out of the Estate of her late grandfather for her maintenance, education or advancement in life.
She was only a young girl and lived with her father.
As such, her father acted as her Litigation Guardian.
The matter resolved at a settlement conference with our client agreeing to an offer of settlement made by the surviving daughters of the deceased in their capacity as the named beneficiaries of the estate.
A successful outcome for our client, who now has some funds to help her establish her way in life.
What do I do next?
If you think you may have a claim on an inheritance or need advice on Wills & Estates, speak to one of our experienced Wills & Estate Lawyers at Lindbloms Lawyers today.