It is surprisingly common for a married person to make a Will that fails to make adequate financial provision for their surviving spouse. When this occurs the surviving spouse often has no alternative but to make a claim against their husband or wife’s estate to ensure that they receive the provision they deserve.
These cases are known in law as ‘spousal claims’ and are made under the Inheritance Act. We are highly experienced in making such claims and can assist any bereaved husband or wife who finds themselves suffering financial hardship as a result of their spouse’s failure to make suitable provision for them in their Will.
We specialise in spousal inheritance claims nationally and operate a FREE LEGAL HELPLINE which you can call for a free case assessment on 0333 888 0404. We are also able to work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Case study of a wife’s claim against her husband’s estate
To give you an idea of what is involved, here are some brief details of a wife’s claim against her husband’s estate that we recently made.
Our client’s husband failed to make provision for her under the terms of his Will. She was not without some assets of her own, but her future financial requirements were significant as she needed medical care. Furthermore, the home she owned with her husband was in need of maintenance works.
To complicate matters, the wife had been presented with a Declaration of Trust by the executrix of her husband’s estate. This placed significant obligations upon our client in relation to the property they had owned jointly.
Taken together, the Will and the Trust deed left the wife in a difficult economic position and facing a very uncertain financial future.
In order to resolve matters we recommended that the wife pursue an inheritance claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This legislation gives spouses (along with others such as children and cohabitees) the right to apply to the court for adequate financial provision to be made from an estate.
Understandably the wife did not relish the prospect of litigation and was keen to avoid it if possible. We therefore pursued a negotiated, out of court settlement, and were successful in reaching a compromise of the inheritance claim that was acceptable to all the parties. The final settlement gave our client a lump sum from the estate. The terms of the Declaration of Trust were also varied, allowing the wife a two-thirds share of the property, along with the right to reside in it for life and sole authority to initiate a sale.
Free legal helpline
If you require guidance on making an inheritance claim against your husband or wife’s estate then call us for a free assessment of your case. We specialise in inheritance claims nationwide and can undertake claims on a no win, no fee basis.