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Winnable Claims Under the Inheritance Act 1975 by Adult Children

Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, discuss which type of claims by adult under the Inheritance Act 1975 are most likely to be won

The problem with claims by adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?

Well what is the problem – can’t adult children win financial provision claims in Will contest and Will dispute cases? The simple truth is this. Yes adult children are perfectly entitled to bring these claims but in general, given they will have been “self-supporting” for many years, they are unlikely to be able to justify them. For example, how can it be claimed that one has a need for financial provision from a parent’s estate if no support by that parent has been given to the child in question for many years?

We have discussed this difficult issue in a number of previous blogs. Please consider the following for example:

This is not to say that a claim can’t be brought – it can be and won. However, the 1975 Inheritance Act was not intended to be a way of overturning the wishes of the testator; far from it. Rather, it seems to have been intended to be a potential source of emergency relief. It follows then that an adult child is highly unlikely to recover his/her “entitlement”. In fact until recently some contentious probate lawyers in Will dispute and Will contest claims involving this issue, were suggesting, as a result of one particular decision that the maximum award was 11% of the estate (a suggestion which was later debunked). It serves though as a salutary reminder of the limits of this type of claim.

So what type of claims by adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 are more likely to succeed?

The above is probably a slight misdescription. What we mean are what circumstances are likely to yield a successful outcome in relation to claims by adult children under the ’75 Inheritance Act.

Well here’s a snapshot of some successful and not so successful cases?

Miles, Shearer v Shearer 2021 EWHC 1000

Claims by two relatively well-off adult children against their father’s estate failed with the court finding that neither child was in need of maintenance (financial provision from the deceased’s estate). Both children had received a substantial lifetime cash gift from their father.

Shapton v Seviour 6 April 2020 – refer to the commentary in the Law Society Gazette, link below:

This is another failed claim by an adult child who tried to muscle in on an estate left to her father’s widow who had severe health problems and considerable financial needs in consequence. The estate was relatively limited. The Court were unwilling to make any award (not surprisingly in our view).

Re H 2020 EWHC 1134

In contrast in this successful claim by an adult child, she was suffering from a complex psychiatric disorder, considerable financial problems and she lived in substandard accommodation with two young children. It seems that severe health issues can have a siren attraction where they are associated with economic difficulties in consequence.

Rochford v Rochford 2021

See in general the report here:

The adult daughter had a severe degenerative disease which prevented her from working. An award was made.

Re Noble deceased 2019 NI 8 (Ch)

As per the following:

Here the adult child hadn’t left home and although she received one third of the value of the property where she was living in the Will, it was found this was insufficient, and she was awarded the entirety!

Re Nahajec deceased 2017 WTLR 1071


Re R deceased 2021 EWHC 936

In both of these claims, the relatively young adults were able to successfully claim the cost of retraining and/or for tertiary education – the court appears to applaud the modest use of a deceased’s money for a positive purpose.

If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat.

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