Family can’t make a claim on their stepmother’s estate
A family have been told they cannot make a claim on their stepmother’s estate following the death of her husband.
The case involved a couple who died within a few months of each other. The wife had an estate worth more than £26m, while the husband’s estate was valued at £320,000. Both partners had children from previous marriages.
The wife died in 2014, leaving her husband £150,000. The husband could have brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision to be made for him out of his wife's estate, but did not do so before he died a few months later.
He left his £320,000 estate and the £150,000 he inherited from his wife to his family, comprising of his daughter, son and grandson.
The family tried to bring a claim against their stepmother’s estate to be granted a reasonable financial provision. They submitted that there was nothing in the Inheritance Act that prevented them from pursuing their father’s right to make a claim.
However, the High Court ruled against them. It held that the right to bring the claim only applied to their father. That right ended when he died and could not passed on to his heirs.
Please contact Meg Wilton if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.