Inheritance Claims

Inheritance claims are brought pursuant to a law called the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. They are different and separate to challenging a will (what lawyers would call a probate claim).

Strictly speaking, an inheritance claim is not brought against an estate. They are not challenging an estate and thus should not in theory be contentious. However, the reality is far from that. Applications under the IA 1975 can be made whether the person who died left a will or not (that is called dying intestate).

If an applicant is bringing a claim and they are not a beneficiary under the will or entitled under the rules of intestacy then technically they are seeking to be treated as a beneficiary of the estate. That is different to challenging the estate. If the applicant is already a beneficiary but they are seeking an enlarged inheritance, then again that is not a claim against the estate.

Not everyone can bring a claim and an applicant needs to show they are eligible. However, in my experience, disputes over eligibility are not that common.