Inheritance Act claims

If someone close to you has died without making 'reasonable financial provision' for you, you may be able to make a claim from the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

We bring such claims, commonly known as Inheritance or 1975 Act claims, on behalf of a broad range of individuals. The Act applies to surviving and former spouses and civil partners, children (including adult children and anyone who was treated as a child of the deceased), cohabitees and other dependents.

In bringing and defending claims, we draw on our extensive experience in representing charity clients, which regularly face claims from individuals under the Inheritance Act. ‘Many people don’t know that charities have an obligation imposed on them by the Charity Commission to defend assets to which they’re entitled,’ says Paola Fudakowska, special counsel in our London team. ‘If a family member tries to overturn a will, the charity really has no option but to engage with that.’

Whichever side we represent, we work to achieve a settlement out of court where possible. However, we are skilled litigators who are not afraid to take cases to trial where it is in the best interests of our client.

Our team has considerable experience and practical knowledge in representing clients in claims under the Inheritance Act. We acted for the widow bringing the very first ‘big money’ 1975 Act claim. Paul Hewitt is a co-author of the Law Society’s Inheritance Act Claims, and associate Natasha Stourton contributes the chapter on 1975 Act claims for the Law Society’s Probate Practitioner’s Handbook.

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Recognition

Top ranked firm for contentious trusts

Top ranked firm for private wealth disputes

Top tier firm for contentious trusts and probate

Contentious trusts and estates team of the year (2015-2017)

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Track record

Wooldridge v Wooldridge

Our lawyers brought the highest value Inheritance Act claim to date in Wooldridge v Wooldridge (2016). We were acting for a widow who sought to increase provision under her husband’s will after his death in a helicopter accident. The will had been “homemade”, written without legal advice, and our client felt that her husband had intended to leave her a greater share of his assets.

Vindis v Collins & Ors

We act for the adult children of the late Nigel Vindis whose will left most of his estate, including his 50% share in the highly successful Vindis plc on discretionary trusts for a class of beneficiaries. Nigel's sisters claimed to be entitled to half the share. At the same time his estranged widow issued a claim for financial provision. Working with their mother's solicitors we secured the 50% shareholding for the nuclear family.

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