Step children and former spouses do not generally have rights to a share in an estate, however in some circumstances they may be able to make a claim.
Issues with step children and inheritance typically arise where the parent of the child has formed a new relationship and has left their estate to the new partner.
Then the new partner dies, having made a Will leaving their estate to their own children only, or perhaps has died without making a Will, which will have the same effect.
The answer is, that adult stepchildren ordinarily do not have a claim against a step-parent’s estate, however unfair that may be.
A stepchild under the age of 18, or in full-time education, who has been living in the same household as the deceased may have a claim against a stepparent’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“IPFDA”). This is because they have been treated as a “child of the family”. Please see our separate section about claims under that Act.
Very occasionally, it may be possible to argue that there was an agreement between the parent and the new partner that the new partner’s estate would be left at least in part to the children of the first relationship, and that agreement may be enforceable.
Although often difficult, a former spouse who has not re-married may also bring a claim under the IPFDA. Even an estranged spouse may have a claim against an estate.
We also assist individuals who are dealing with Cohabiting Couple issues and we also assist individuals in the local, national and international areas.
Further information about how we can help you with Will and Inheritance Probate Disputes:
How We Can Help
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To discuss Wills and Second Families issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.