Generally, under the law of England and Wales, you are free to leave your estate to whomever and whichever proportions you wish. However, under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, there are many different people who can potentially make a claim against your estate if they feel you have not made adequate provision for them.
– Your spouse or civil partner, or former spouse or civil partner, unless the divorce settlement says otherwise,
– Your children and anyone who has been treated as a dependent child of the family,
– Anyone who has lived with the deceased for more than two years,
– Anyone who was financially dependent on you immediately before your death.
– If you decide to disinherit someone who falls within any of the above categories of potential claimants, it is possible that they or their representatives will make a claim against your estate. Such claims can take a number of years to reach a conclusion, cost tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees and have a devastating effect on family relationships.
It is therefore of vital importance to consider the potential financial and emotional costs on your beneficiaries before making a final decision to disinherit someone.
PLS Solicitors specialise in advising on the complex area of family law, especially Wills, Trusts and Probate. We offer a friendly, efficient and effective legal advice on any area of family law.
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