The same as with many different aspects of life and the law, contesting the validity of a will or making an inheritance claim is a highly regulated process. If you decide to bring a challenge against the will of a testator then you need to become aware of these in order to win your case. This article discusses the more prominent features of contesting a will and making a claim for inheritance.Do you want to learn more? Visit inheritance law updates
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
This is the Act of Parliament on which most inheritance laws come from. If you bring a claim of no validity against a will then it is probable that your inheritance claim will come under this Act. If the deceased person failed to provide for someone whom was dependent upon them (in their will) then this is normally a circumstance that will allow this. Those whom are usually able to bring a claim are:
The surviving spouse
A cohabite who lived with the deceased as if married for at least 2 years
Children of the deceased
Anyone else who was financially dependent on the deceased
A former spouse who has since remained unmarried
This is where a person dies without leaving a will. Frequently in this situation, the estate is divided amongst the spouse and any children. In more complex situations for example where the deceased was unmarried and/or had no children the estate could be left to:
Brothers and sisters (and their children)
Half brothers and sisters
Other family such as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents
If someone makes a claim on the estate of the deceased under intestacy laws, it is most likely to also fall under the 1975 Act. Unmarried partners are not recognised under intestacy rules, though, which is why it is so important that people make a will whenever possible as it massively reduces the potential for conflict or problems later on if one spouse dies, leaving the other behind.
The Mental Health Act 2005
This Act doesn’t affect many inheritance claims, but it can sometimes be used in the event of a person making a will when they were of unsound mind. This can be brought into use when you believe that the person whom is making the will is not actually of sound mind and therefore you feel you need to intervene in order to protect their interests.