Family Law Hub

Inheritance Act

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  • The couple married in 2016 after a long relationship, and the husband died later that year. The appeal was concerned with whether an application under s 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 could be made out of time, whether a beneficial interest under a discretionary trust instead of outright provision amounted to reasonable financial provision, and the relevance of a "stand-still agreement" in place while an out of court settlement was pursued. Asplin LJ found that the explanation for the lapse of time in this case was clear, and it had been wrong of the judge to find that the wife had received sufficient advice about the time limit and the 1975 Act. King LJ and Baker LJ agreed. The court exercised the power in s 4 of the 1975 Act to allow the wife to bring a claim out of time. Judgment, 31/07/2019, free
  • The former wife sought permission to bring a claim out of time for reasonable financial provision from the estate of the deceased. No provision had been made for her in the will, and a pre-nuptual agreement had provided that in the event of the marriage failing she would receive a lump sum of £10,000 and a flight to the Philippines, but no maintenance, property or financial provision. Master Shuman found that the former wife had not given a sufficent explanation for the delay, and decided that permission should not be granted. Judgment, 30/07/2019, free
  • The widow brought claims against the two daughters of her deceased husband. Deputy Master Linwood found that the will did not make reasonable financial provision for her, and awarded the widow her proposed nursing home charges plus an amount for pension loss, totalling £731,309. One daughter’s conduct included financial abuse, oppression via court proceedings, and attempting to mislead various parties including the court. She had flouted court orders, dissipated savings and investments, and failed to account for her activities as executor, the holder of the power of attorney and the recipient of rent. He drew adverse inferences against her and found that she should forfeit £80,000 of her share of the residue to the widow. The other daughter would forfeit £1000. Judgment, 08/07/2019, free
  • Widow's out of time application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in circumstances where provision for her had been made by way of 2 trusts. The application was refused. Judgment, 05/03/2019, free
  • In brief: Here the defendant had applied for an adjournment of the trial. However, the medical evidence supporting her application was erroneously not shown to the trial judge, the defendant did not turn up, he refused to adjourn and an order was made in the claimants’ favour (the estate was split £69,000 to the defendant and £630,000 to the claimants). On appeal it was found that the defendant had not actually made an application under r.39.3(5) CPR 1998 and had in any event not satisfied the three criteria under r.39.3 needed to make a successful application to set aside a judgment. The judgment could not be set aside. In terms of the appeal against the substantive award, the court concluded that there was no basis for interfering with it save to the extent that fresh evidence that wad admitted modestly reduced the award made to the original claimants. Judgment, 22/10/2018, free

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