The Family Protection Act 1955 (FPA) becomes relevant under either a will or intestacy (where a deceased dies without a will in place) in circumstances where a claimant does not consider that they have been appropriately provided for under the deceased’s estate. Proper maintenance and support is the test, which is a wide and general phrase.
So, who can make a claim under the FPA? A spouse or civil union partner of the deceased is at the top of the list. Children (including stepchildren who are being maintained by the deceased immediately prior to their death), grandchildren and parents in certain circumstances are also on the list. A member of our family and relationship law team will be able to help determine whether you are eligible to bring a claim should you wish to check that issue initially.
Where a claimant wishes to ask the court for further provision from a deceased’s estate, notice must be given to the executors of the relevant will via the estate’s lawyer within a twelve-month period from the date the probate is granted by the court in respect of that will and prior to the estate being finally distributed. The required period may be longer should the applicant either be a minor or not have full mental capacity. The court has the power to extend the timeline at their discretion based on the circumstances. It is prudent, however, to give written notice of your claim within six months from the grant of probate, as executors are able to distribute the estate after this 6 month period. Executors will have been told by the estate’s lawyer that if they move to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries inside the six-month period, then an executor may be personally liable should a subsequent claim surface.
For further information please contact a member of our family and relationship law team.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.