Defending a claim under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975

We were instructed on behalf of executors of an estate, Mr D and Ms K, in respect of their mother’s estate. Their mother had passed away and the main asset of her estate was the property, which she owned in her sole name but she had lived in with her new partner, Mr S, for several years since Mr D and Ms K’s father had passed away.

Mr D and Ms K were the sole beneficiaries of their mother’s estate, but Mr S brought a claim against the estate under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 on the basis that a reasonable provision had not been made for him in the Will.

In such cases, it is often appropriate for a payment to cover maintenance to be made, although this is subject to all the circumstances including the age of the person claiming, the length of the relationship and the size of the estate. However, it was established that Mr S was not entitled to a payment for maintenance because he had assets of his own in savings and therefore sufficient money to get by for the remainder of his life without a provision from the estate.  It was necessary for Mr S to prove that he was financially dependent on Mr D and Ms K’s mother, but he was not able to do that.

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