The Court's approach to assessing claims
The Court’s approach to assessing claims under the Act is divided into two distinct stages. The Court will consider:
- if reasonable financial provision has been made for the applicant by the deceased person’s Will (or through the rules of intestacy)?
- if not, what, provision should be made?
Factors the Court considers
The Court will consider the following factors when deciding what provision should be made for the applicant:
- the financial resources and needs (current and future) of the applicant;
- the financial resources and needs (current and future) of any other applicant;
- the financial resources and needs (current and future) of the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate;
- the obligations and responsibilities of the deceased towards any applicant or beneficiary of the estate;
- the size and nature of the deceased’s net estate;
- any physical and mental disabilities of the applicant or beneficiary of the estate; and
- any other matter which the court might consider relevant, including the conduct of any party.
If the applicant is one of the following, there may also be additional factors which the Court may consider:
- spouse/civil partner or former spouse/civil partner of the deceased;
- someone who was cohabiting with the deceased;
- children of the deceased, or someone that the deceased treated as their child; and
- someone who was maintained by the deceased.
What orders can the Court make?
The Court has power under the Act to make a variety of orders to provide reasonable financial provision for the applicant. These include:
- periodical payments made to or for the applicant;
- payment of a lump sum to or for the applicant;
- assets or property held within the estate being transferred to the applicant;
- that the applicant be given a right to reside in property held by the estate for their rest of their life; and
- in certain circumstances, assets given away by the deceased being treated as part of the estate, in order that provision can be made for the applicant.
Clarion's Contentious Private Client Team are experts in dealing with claims under the Act and are happy to have an initial chat about the points detailed above. Please feel free to contact us on 0113 336 3427 and someone from the Team will be able to assist.
You can read the previous blog in this series on who can bring a claim under the Act or keep an eye out for the next one which will be released shortly outlining how much time you have to bring a claim.
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.