Commentary on Antonio v Williams
Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, consider the new case of Antonio v Williams
Antonio v Williams – a further claim for financial provision under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
The case of Antonio v Williams  EWHC 2383 (Ch) is a claim by the brother of the deceased for financial provision based on the following qualifying grounds:
1. Section 1(1)(d) – the deceased stood in the role of parent, was treated as a child of the family by the deceased;
2. Section 1(1)(e) – who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased
The case can be found via the following link:
Antonio v Williams & Anor  EWHC 2383 (Ch) (22 September 2022) (bailii.org)
We have previously commented extensively about the jurisdiction provided by the ’75 Inheritance Act, for example:
CAN AN ADULT STEPCHILD BRING AN INHERITANCE ACT CLAIM (willclaim.com)
Antonio is slightly more unusual given the deceased and Claimant were brother and sister; however the principles underlying the claim remain the same. In this instance the Court accepted the Claimant was able to bring his claim because he was in fact dependent on the deceased – she having brought him up as if he was her own child.
Useful elements from Antonio
Antonio offers a useful aide memoir:
1. Firstly what is the eligibility (mentioned above) – it was accepted the Claimant had been dependent on the deceased.
2. Secondly one turns the two key questions:
(a) has there been a failure to make reasonable provision;
(b) if so, what order ought to be made.
3. The court exercises its discretion in relation to the above by reference to the factors listed in section 3 of the Act:
At least where eligibility to make a claim is not in issue, there are two key questions for the court in cases under the Act: (1) has there been a failure to make reasonable financial provision and, if so, (2) what order ought to be made? – see Miles v Shearer  EWHC 1000 (Ch) at para.76. The questions are overlapping ones in that the factors to which the court is to have regard in answering each question are the same; being those set out in s.3 of the Act. The factors listed in s.3(1) are as follows:
“(a) the financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(b) the financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant for an order under section 2 of this Act has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(c) the financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(d) any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or towards any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;
(e) the size and nature of the net estate of the deceased;
(f) any physical or mental disability of any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;
(g) any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant”.
However and in addition, it looks at sections 3(3) and 3(4) as well:
The factors in subsections (3) and (4) may also be of relevance in this case:
“(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (g) of subsection (1) above, where an application for an order under section 2 of this Act is made by virtue of section 1(1)(c) or 1(1)(d) of this Act, the court shall, in addition to the matters specifically mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) of that subsection, have regard to the manner in which the applicant was being or in which he might expect to be educated or trained, and where the application is made by virtue of section 1(1)(d) the court shall also have regard—
(a) to whether the deceased maintained the applicant and, if so, to the length of time for which and basis on which the deceased did so, and to the extent of the contribution made by way of maintenance;
(aa) to whether and, if so, to what extent the deceased assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the applicant;
(b) to whether in maintaining or assuming responsibility for maintaining the applicant the deceased did so knowing that the applicant was not his own child;
(c) to the liability of any other person to maintain the applicant.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (g) of subsection (1) above, where an application for an order under section 2 of this Act is made by virtue of section 1(1)(e) of this Act, the court shall, in addition to the matters specifically mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) of that subsection, have regard—
(a) to the length of time for which and basis on which the deceased maintained the applicant, and to the extent of the contribution made by way of maintenance;
(b) to whether and, if so, to what extent the deceased assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the applicant.”
A “broad-brush” approach
There can be no greater demonstration of the risky and difficult nature of these claims than the broad-brush approach to the calculation of the claim award in Antonio. In fact HHJ Johns giving Judgment even quotes approvingly the following from the leading case in this field (Ilott v Mitson and others):
Overall, “the Act plainly requires a broad brush approach from the judge to very variable personal and family circumstances.” (Ilott at para.24).
The final decision then was made on this basis; the Claimant was awarded £50,000.
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