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Have you been left out of a Will? Here's what to do next

It can come as a shock to discover that you have not been named as a beneficiary under a Will, especially if you fully expected to receive an inheritance.

Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 certain circumstances can allow you to make a claim for the Court to decide whether you have been reasonably provided for under a Will or an Intestacy.

To qualify under the Act to make a claim you have to have been;

  • The Deceased’s spouse or civil partner
  • A former spouse/civil partner who has not remarried or entered into another civil partnership
  • A child of the deceased
  • Treated by the deceased as a child of the family
  • Maintained financially by the deceased
  • Living with the deceased as if you were husband and wife/civil partners for at least two years immediately before their death

In recent years there has been a growth in claims by adult children who have been left out of a Will by a parent. This may be due to a breakdown in their relationship or other factors.

These claims can be difficult, especially if the Deceased leaves a statement with their Will to confirm why a particular person has not been included. However making such a statement is not a complete block to a claim.

If an adult child of the Deceased can establish what is known as a “moral claim” to reasonable financial provision, then a claim could succeed. Whether a moral claim can be established varies from case to case.

However, a Court will take all relevant circumstances into account and the starting point is to consider the wishes of the Deceased.

If you believe that you have been unfairly left out of a Will, or if you are an executor who is presented with a claim against an estate, it is vital that you get specialist legal help as soon as possible. Fishers can help. Get in touch today.

 

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