Financial & Legal News

Inheritance rights of adult children from a previous marriage

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When a Will has been made but fails to make provision for the adult children from an earlier marriage, those children may feel aggrieved and they may be able to bring a claim against the estate for ‘reasonable provision’. Our Inheritance and Will Disputes Department often deal with cases like this and sometimes we see similar cases make the headlines.

Inheritance Act 1975 Case

A recent case that has made the news involves the Monty Python actor Terry Jones’ estate. Terry sadly died last year. Terry remarried nine years earlier and had a further child to his second wife. Terry’s two adult children, from an earlier marriage, have now brought Court proceedings in the High Court against their late father’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (‘Inheritance Act’). Mr Jones’ will has not been made public and so we are not aware of the provisions.

Inheritance and Will Disputes Advice

 “From experience, it would appear that Mr Jones’ will provides for his estate to pass to his second wife.  When his second wife dies if she does not make a will then her estate would pass to her child under the Intestacy Rules or she could make a will which only provides for her own child. In this instance, Terry’s older children would not receive provision from the second’s wife’s estate which will include the inheritance she has received from her husband”, said, Laura Pracy, Head of our Inheritance and Will Disputes Department.

“Where a person leaves a valid Will which fails to make provision for an adult child and the estate passes to the second wife, the adult children from an earlier marriage are at risk of not receiving any inheritance in the future so they may need to consider bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act,” she added.

“When an adult child brings a claim under the Inheritance Act you are not challenging the validity of the Will but are instead seeking an Order that reasonable financial provision is made from the estate for your maintenance.  Obviously these cases can be very emotive and tensions between families can run high, but we have extensive experience in dealing with claims under the Inheritance Act. You should always act quickly in seeking advice as the limitation to bring a claim is very short. You only have 6 months from the date probate is granted to bring your claim and we will advise clients accordingly” added Laura Pracy.

If the distribution of an Estate, either under a Will or Intestacy, fails to make reasonable financial provision (or no provision) certain individuals can bring a claim against the Estate of the deceased. Spouses, cohabitees, children and other dependants can all potentially bring an Inheritance Act claim.

If you think you may have a claim under the Inheritance Act our advice is not to delay in seeking specialist legal advice

Contact our Inheritance Dispute Solicitors

Contact our Inheritance & Will Disputes Department to discuss your Inheritance Act claim 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.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Laura Pracy


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