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Could you have a dependency claim?

1 August 2015

Do you think that you should have been provided for in the will of someone who has died? If you believe that you should have received an inheritance, or received more under their will than you did, then you may be entitled to make a dependency claim.

Where the deceased died without a valid will, the intestacy rules govern the automatic manner in which their spouse and other close relatives inherit their estate. If you are not provided for under the intestacy rules, or you consider the amount that you will receive is not sufficient, you might be able to bring a claim against the estate to ensure that you receive a share or a greater proportion of it.

You may be eligible to make a claim for financial provision if you are:

  • the current, or former married spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
  • a cohabitee of the deceased, for two consecutive years, directly before their death;
  • a child of the deceased;
  • treated as a child of the family by the deceased; or
  • maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased.

If you are entitled to bring a claim and the case goes to court, the court will look at whether the deceased’s estate made reasonable financial provision for you. If it did not, the court will then consider what provision should be made.

If your claim is successful, the court will order reasonable financial provision to be made for you according to the particular circumstances of the case. You could receive maintenance payments or a capital sum, depending on your needs and the size and nature of the estate and the existence of any other beneficiaries.

The time limit on bringing such a claim is very strict. The claim must be brought within six months of the grant of probate or grant of letters of administration, which authorise the administration of the estate. Early legal advice is highly recommended as you may not have much time to make your application to the court following the death of the deceased.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

For advice on a dependency claim from Myers & Co Solicitors, based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, contact our wills and probate specialist Stephen Myers by calling 01782 525007 or email stephen.myers@myerssolicitors.co.uk.

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

 
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Stephen Myers

DDI: 01782 525007
E: stephen.myers@myerssolicitors.co.uk



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