If someone is your dependant but they have not been remembered in your will then the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (IPFDA 1975) applies. This allows your dependants to apply to court for a settlement if there isn’t one in the will. This could happen if e.g. you had children in later life but didn’t update your will to remember them in it.
The IPFDA 1975 goes into detail about who can claim and when a claim can be made.
The following people can make a IPFDA 1975 claim:
- Spouse or partner
- Former spouse or partner
- A person who has been “living as you spouse or civil partner”
- Your child (including adopted children)
- Someone treated as your child (e.g. a stepchild)
- Someone you financially maintain.
Do what you can to reduce the chance of a legal challenge. It’s important to be fair when in doubt – and explain your rationale in a letter of wishes if needs be.
If you think that despite everything someone may make a claim you should speak with a traditional solicitor.