In such cases where the deceased did not make a will, intestacy rules dictate that their spouse and closest relatives inherit the estate. If you feel you’ve not been provided for under the intestacy rules or that the amount you will receive is less than it should be, you could be entitled to make a claim.
The law regarding dependancy claims is complicated, which is why you’re advised to seek legal advice if you feel you may have a right to make a claim – and to do this immediately as you only have 6 months from the date of the grant of probate to bring such a claim.
While we strongly encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss your individual circumstances, as a guide you can make a claim if you fall into one of the following categories that The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 outlines:
- The spouse or civil partner of the deceased
- A former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased, but not one who has subsequently married or formed a new civil partnership
- A person who had, during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the deceased’s death, lived in the same household as if he or she were the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased
- A child of the deceased
- Any person who was not a child of the deceased, but was treated as a child of the family by the deceased, within a marriage or civil partnership
- Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased
If you come under the last category, you will need to show that the deceased was making a substantial contribution to your needs. This is not straightforward to do, and numerous court cases have arisen regarding who does and who doesn’t demonstrate such a contribution was being made.
Should your case go to court, this will be assessed and if successfully proven then it will be investigated whether the deceased estate made reasonable financial provision for you and, if not, it will be decided what provision should have been made. If you win your case, you could receive maintenance or a capital sum, depending on your particular circumstances.
If you come under any of the other categories and your case goes to court, then it will be decided what your entitlement should have been and the court will order that you then receive this provision.
Calculating the specifics of your entitlement can be complex, and negotiations need to be made carefully given the sensitive nature of the situation. After all, personal representatives who are managing the estate may include family members of the deceased who may be beneficiaries of the estate also.
With years of experience handling dependancy claims against estates of all sizes and in a wide range of circumstances, Bartletts Solicitors in Chester can help you make a claim if you believe you’ve not been provided for in a will or not been provided for under the intestacy rules if the deceased did not make a will.
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