Family Law Hub

Inheritance Act

Latest updates

  • An executor, the younger brother of the deceased, had appealed against an order for him to exhibit on oath a true and perfect inventory of the estate and an account of its administration. The respondents to the appeal were the deceased's widow and three children from his first marriage. The appeal was dismissed, and in this judgment MacDonald J dealt with whether those costs should be assessed on the standard or the indemnity basis, and the quantum of the costs. He decided that the executor should pay the costs of the respondents on an indemnity basis in the sum of £27,818.92 plus VAT. After delaying for over a decade, the executor had put the respondents to further expense, delay and inconvenience by requiring them to meet an appeal of dubious merit. This was a clear case for the awarding of costs on an indemnity basis. Judgment, 16/12/2020, free
  • An application for interim provision pursuant to section 5 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. It was clear to Francis J that he had the discretion to order both periodic payments and lump sum payments to the widow, the husband's second wife, and he ordered payments of £5200 a month to be made until the case settled. The first and second defendants undertook to make no further distributions to the beneficiaries from the estate until the conclusion of the claim. Francis J also expressed concern about the level of costs incurred with regard to the application. Judgment, 18/12/2019, free
  • The father left the entirety of his estate to his daughter. No provision was made for his wife, who was applying for permission to bring a claim out of time under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Floyd LJ held that the judgment of the district judge in the case had been flawed to the extent that an appellate court was entitled to interfere. The district judge wrongly discounted the fact that the wife risked losing her home if the extension of time was refused, and wrongly weighed in the balance the failings of the wife's solicitors. King LJ and Henderson LJ agreed, and the court exercised its discretion to extend time. Judgment, 30/10/2019, free
  • 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

Latest know-how


Copyright in the original legal material published on the Family Law Hub is vested in Mills & Reeve LLP (as per date of publication shown on screen) unless indicated otherwise.


The Family Law Hub website relates to the legal position in England Wales and all of the material within it has been prepared with the aim of providing key information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While Mills & Reeve LLP aims to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. You therefore acknowledge and agree that Mills & Reeve LLP and its members and employees accept no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of our website except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.

Bookmark this item