Disinherited adult child, 1975 Act
We were instructed by a Defendant of an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent) Act 1975 claim. Our client was the spouse of the Deceased, the Claimant was an adult child of the Deceased. Although there is case law to show that adult child claims can be successful, they are known for being notoriously difficult to prove financial maintenance and need. In part, this is due to the fact that most adult children are financially independent from their parents. Even in circumstances where the Claimant can show financial need a claim is only limited to what is required for their maintenance and therefore the value of the claim may be limited. Because of the significant costs and risks in litigation, it is often better for all parties to agree an ‘out of court’ settlement at an early stage.
A distinguishing point in this case was that the Claimant was estranged from the Deceased for many years and could not show a pattern of financial maintenance but there were overriding reasons for a swift settlement of the claim which had at best only a nuisance value.
Often claims can be easier to make our where they had close relationship with the Deceased, or were to some extent financially reliant upon them. In assessing claims like these, a key point for consideration is the financial need of the Claimant. Where this can be shown, the Claimant may have a better chance of being successful in their case or being awarded a higher figure by a judge. However, this is not a conclusive factor and requires consideration of all the facts on a case by case basis.
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