What will I receive in settlement of my Inheritance Act claim?
An Inheritance Act claim is a financial claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’ from a person’s estate. If you are claiming as a spouse or civil partner then such provision is what would be considered reasonable in all the circumstances, whether or not it is needed for your maintenance. For any other type of claimant it is reasonable financial provision for your maintenance only.
The courts have a wide discretion in redistributing the estate of a deceased person when an Inheritance Act claim has been made. The court will look at a number of different factors, including your financial resources, the financial resources of any other party, the size and nature of the deceased’s estate and any obligations or responsibilities that the deceased had.
There is no guarantee that you will be awarded a monetary sum from the estate, even if you are successful in your claim. This very much depends on the financial make-up of the estate and the position of the other parties. For example, if there is a property and you have a need for accommodation the court may order that you receive a ‘life interest’ in the property. This means that you can remain living at the property during your lifetime, but that on your death, it would pass to the beneficiaries of the Deceased’s estate. Alternatively, the court may award a cash lump sum. It is very much dependent on the factual circumstances and assets available in the estate.