When to make an inheritance claim for financial provision
Even in situations where all parties agree a Will is valid, there are times when claims can still be made against an estate. These claims happen when for some reason, when the deceased was alive and making the Will, they did not provide for an individual who believes they should’ve been. In this blog, we share further information on the time limits to take action if you wish to make a claim against an estate under the Inheritance Provision and Dependants Act 1975.
First steps when considering making an inheritance claim for financial provision
As there are quite short time limits to make a claim, we always recommend seeking independent, professional legal advice as early as possible if you think you are going to move forward with making a claim.
This will help you to assess your case and understand the likelihood of a successful claim and figure out exactly what steps you need to take in your specific situation.
The next step would be to make a claim with the Court. This must be issued within six months of the date the Grant of Probate was issued or within six months of the date the Grant of Letters of Administration was issued in the case of there being no Will.
Why inheritance claims are issued for financial provision
There are many scenarios where someone might fail to provide for someone in their Will, leading to inheritance claims being issued after they pass. One of the most common reasons we see this type of claim being made though is when a cohabitee passes away intestate, i.e. without leaving a Will, and someone else, commonly the deceased’s children, are the beneficiary under the intestacy rules.
What happens if you want to make a claim after the six-month time limit has passed?
As mentioned previously in this article, we always recommend that you seek advice and take action as soon as possible.
However, if you are over the six-month time limit, you can still apply to the court to bring a case out of time – but it is completely at the discretion of the courts as to whether or not they will accept applications past the deadline.
We recommend, in this situation, seeking legal advice to figure out the likelihood of an application being accepted, as if your application does get rejected, it will be very likely at your own expense. However, the courts will assess your application based on your individual circumstances, including:
- The reasons why you did not make a claim within the six-month limit
- The chances of your claim being successful
- Whether refusal of an application would leave you without remedy and other factors specific to your individual case and circumstances.
It’s worth noting it doesn’t appear that being just a short amount over time holds any particular weight in an application being successful as in recent times, applications have been refused for being just a few months past the time limit, whereas other applications have been granted that were years out of time – it all comes down to what the court believes is right and proper in any individual case and how it is put forward to the court.
Seek specialist legal advice
In almost all contentious probate matters, the case will be dealt with based on the claimant’s personal circumstances and their personal relationship with the Deceased.
Whether you’re before or past the time limit, if you are considering putting forward a claim, you should seek advice from a specialist legal professional in contentious probate matters to assess the merits of your case, to provide you with an honest and realistic view on the likelihood of success and the costs you may face.
A general rule of the thumb though for all potential challenges to an estate is, you stand a better chance of success overall if you act sooner rather than later.
If you need advice, speak to our specialist contentious trust and probate team on 0161 427 0084 (Marple Bridge), 01484 442 700 (Holmfirth) or email email@example.com to book an appointment.