Financial & Legal News

Daughter’s claim for reasonable financial provision

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Our Contentious Probate team represented a client in successfully bringing a claim under Section 1 (1) (c) of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

Our client’s father sadly passed away in 2018. Whilst her father had prepared a Will some three years before his death, it was our client’s position that her father, shortly before going into a coma, wanted to change his Will to provide for her.

However, this could not be arranged and therefore his previous Will took effect. The main beneficiary of that Will was the Deceased’s long-term partner, with pecuniary gifts to two of his six children.

Reasonable financial provision inheritance claim

Our client’s claim was brought on the basis that she was a child of the Deceased, the provision of her father’s Will failed to make provision for her, and she had a maintenance need which required the estate to provide her with a reasonable financial provision.

“It is a difficult and emotional time when a child loses a parent and discovers that their parent's Will does not make provision for them in a time where that child has financial struggles,”  said Jade Wood, Contentious Probate Paralegal.

“The Inheritance Act is a great mechanism for eligible applicants, who have not been provided for in the terms of a Will/ under the Rules of Intestacy, and have a need for financial provision to bring a claim against the Deceased’s estate,” she added.

Reasonable financial provision case

This case was ultimately decided on the facts. The Judge had to apply the law under the legislation. The Defendant was debarred from relying on any evidence in this matter due to non-compliance with previous Court Orders, however, was available to make submissions at the Trial.

Firstly, the Judge had to consider Section 1 of the Act. There was no doubt as to the parentage of our client and therefore it was easily established that our client was an eligible applicant under Section 1 (1) (c) of the Act i.e. as a child of the Deceased.

As it had been established that Section 1 of the Inheritance Act was satisfied the Judge then had to consider the provisions cited in Section 3 of the Act. In the case, the specific subsections that the Judge was tasked with considering were:

  • (a) the financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • (c) the financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • (e) the size and nature of the net estate of the deceased
  • (g) any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant.

As our client’s claim was commenced under Section 1 (1) (c) the without prejudice to the above subsection that the Judge has to consider.  The Judge was also required to consider Section 3.3 in that “the court shall, in addition to the matters specifically mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) of that subsection, have regard to the manner in which the applicant was being, or in which he might expect to be, educated or trained”.

The Judgment

In providing her Judgment, the Judge took all of the relevant factors into consideration and determined that:

  1. The Will of the Deceased failed to make financial provision for the Claimant
  2. The Claimant had a maintenance need in which provision should be provided

The Judge summed up that in coming to her decision she had considered the needs to the Defendant as balanced with the Claimant’s need and considered the powers awarded to the Court under Section 2 of the Act.

The Judge commented that the estate in this matter was not sizeable and further deemed the most appropriate power of the Court to make an award by way of a lump sum (as this would afford the parties a clean break).

The Award

Our client was awarded a lump sum of £49,283 plus legal costs, which was made up as follows:

  1. £10,000 to pursue further education and undertake further studies thus improving earning potential (pursuant to Section 3.3 of the Act)
  2. £36,000 in respect of her shortfall in income for 4 years at which time all of our client’s children would be in full-time education and our client would be able to increase her earning potential
  3. This case was conducted on a conditional fee agreement (no win no fee) and our client was liable to pay a success fee if her case was successful. Applying the authority found in Higgins -v- Morgan, the Judge awarded our client 40% of her success fee which amounted to £3,283.

Our client was also awarded a percentage of her costs of the litigation.

“This matter has been going on for a number of years and we are very happy to have achieved a result for our client that she is happy with. This matter has caused a tremendous amount of stress for our client, and she is now able to make closure with the matter and properly grieve her father whilst having less of a financial burden in respect of raising her children - the Deceased’s grandchildren,” added Jade.

How can we help?

For legal advice on making a claim under the Inheritance Act for reasonable financial provision contact our Contentious Probate Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Jade Wood


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