If a Will is valid then the deceased person’s estate will be distributed in accordance with the terms of their Will. This can lead to injustice. An example would be a husband who makes no, or inadequate, provision for his surviving wife, despite the fact that they had been married for many years.

A Will cannot be challenged simply because it is unfair or not what you expected. If the Will is valid but you still feel it was unfair, you may still have a claim for reasonable provision to be paid to you from the estate.

The provision made by way of a valid Will or on intestacy can be challenged by a defined list of applicants, if reasonable provision has not been made.

If you have been dependent on a person that has died and no provision or insufficient provision has been made for you in the Will or within the rules of intestacy (if there is no Will), you may be eligible to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable provision.

Who Can Apply?

The wife or husband or civil partner of the deceased;

A former wife or former husband or former civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried;

A child of the deceased, including an adopted child;

Any person maintained by the deceased e.g. cohabitees including same-sex cohabitees.

Reasonable Financial Provision

In every application, the court must have regard to whether or not reasonable financial provision was made for an applicant by way of a Will or on intestacy. If the court determines that reasonable financial provision was not made for you, the court will look to vary the situation so as to increase the financial provision awarded to you. The court will have regard to many factors, of which, Dispute a Will can advise when determining what is reasonable and what is not.

What orders can the court make?

If the court determines that the Will or intestacy should be varied it can order:

Regular payments to you from the estate;

A lump sum payment to you from the estate;

Property to be transferred to you from the estate;

And/or that you benefit from an asset of the estate for your life.

If you fall into one of the categories that apply and you believe that insufficient financial provision has been made for you by way of a Will or intestacy, then Oratto can help you to get in touch with the lawyer most suitable for your case today.