Reasonable Financial Provision and the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Reasonable Financial Provision

Reasonable financial provision is that which is given by the court for the financial needs and/or maintenance of the applicant.  This is taken from the deceased’s net estate.

Net Estate

The net estate is composed of all of the deceased’s property – both real and personal properties – which had the power to dispose of by his/her will less the funeral, testamentary and administrative expenses, debts and liabilities including any inheritance tax payable out of the death estate.

How the Court determines Reasonable Financial Provision

Surviving Spouse/Partner

If the applicant is the surviving spouse/partner, the court will consider what the applicant should expect to receive from the estate as the spouse/partner of the deceased whether or not this is necessary for their maintenance.

If the surviving spouse/partner was judicially separated from the deceased, s/he can also claim under the Act but would only be awarded at the lower level of the provision that can be awarded to applicants.

If the marriage was void/voidable, the applicant can apply as the surviving spouse/partner.

Former Spouse/Partner

It is possible for a former spouse/partner to apply under the Act provided that they have not remarried or entered into another relationship prior to the death of the former spouse.  If remarriage takes place, the provision will be for maintenance between the dates of death and marriage.

If a Section 15 or 15A Order (an order that prevents the former spouse from claiming against the deceased’s estate) is included in the decree of divorce, nullity, or judicial separation, any application under the I(PFD)A 1975 will not prosper.

Other Applicants

The Court will base their decision on the facts of the case to determine the reasonable financial provision needed for the applicant’s maintenance.  This category includes the cohabite, child of the deceased, person child considered to be a child of the marriage, adopted children, illegitimate children, or any person maintained by the deceased two years immediately before the death.

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