When somebody close to you passes away, either with or without a Will, you may be left with nothing or very little from their estate. 

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants Act) 1975 (‘the Inheritance Act”) allows certain categories of people to make a claim, whether it is to contest a will or make a claim if there is no will.   

Who can claim?

Left Out of a Will What Can You Do

What factors will be considered?

Even if you fall into one of the above categories, it does not automatically mean you will be successful in a claim under the Inheritance Act. 

A surviving spouse or civil partner must show that the Will or intestacy has failed to make reasonable financial provision in all the circumstances. This means that the starting point is often what would have happened if the parties had divorced instead of the deceased passing away. 

All other applicants listed above must show that the Will or intestacy has failed to make reasonable financial provision for their maintenance needs. An individual’s “maintenance needs” has not been defined; therefore, it must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The factors often considered include income and expenditure, housing needs, savings or debts and any medical needs now and in the future. This is not an exhaustive list, and a member of our Contentious Probate team would be happy to discuss the factors further in a free initial telephone call. 

When must a claim be brought?

It is important to act quickly as a claim under the Inheritance Act must be brought within six months of the date a Grant of a Probate is dated.  

In limited circumstances, the court has the discretion to allow a claim to be brought outside of the 6-month time period. Our Contentious Probate team have made several successful applications to bring a claim outside of the 6-month time period, but if you are outside of the 6-month period, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

Contact Our Contentious Probate Solicitors

We fully appreciate that being excluded from the deceased’s estate can be a very upsetting time. If you have any questions or would like to talk through a potential claim under the Inheritance Act, you can get in touch with our Contentious Probate Solicitors below. 

0161 941 4000