The Inheritance Act 1975, a Contentious Clinic

July 28, 2023

Wednesday 19th July  brought the return of another IDR Contentious Clinic, with over 160 registered viewers. Hosted by Eleanor Stenson and supported by Lindsay Gibson, the clinic gave an insightful overview of the Inheritance Act of 1975 – how it is put into practice, the benefits and pitfalls of each term, and how IDR’s legal tech may be used to harness these.


The talk covered many relevant points, beginning with an interesting overview of what the 1975 Act actually is and how it is intended to work practically. Eleanor Stenson explained, in detail, how the 1975 Act may be used to make a claim whether there is a will provided or if someone has died ‘intestate’. That the Inheritance Act may be put in place in order to provide certain people, that may or may not be included in the will, the chance to claim financial provision from the estate.


Individual claims under the Inheritance Act


Further to this, the talk gave a synopsis of those who are legally able to make such a claim and how these may differ from one another. These can include: an ex-spouse/civil partner, cohabitees, biological children, someone ‘treated as a child’ and those that felt themselves financially dependent or supported by the deceased. The clinic, additionally, explained in depth the factors that the court is then required to consider in relation to each claimant. For example, their relationship to the deceased, their independent finances and resources, obligations to the deceased, the size and nature of the estate and many more. Eleanor Stenson then most usefully, presented in the clinic a breakdown of each type of claimant and their specific factors then required by the court to consider under the Inheritance Act of 1975. Which include but aren’t limited to the age of applicant, their contribution to the family, assumed liability for maintenance and length of the relationship with the deceased.


Assessing strength with LegalTech


However, the highlight of the clinic was Eleanor Stenson’s introduction to IDR Law’s 1975 Act Claim Checker. An online system that not only allows for the bypassing of the initial long and often emotional first conversations with claimants but provides the client with the opportunity to see if they have the grounds to contest the estate before seeking legal advice themselves.

The first of its kind, the Claim Checker has transformed this primary conversation into one which the client is made aware of their right to making or defending a claim straight away, whilst proving IDR’s legal team with all the necessary information before the first contact. It is service that manages claimant’s expectations, whilst also telling them everything that they need to know. In addition, Lindsay Gibson excitingly revealed that IDR is also in the process of creating a version two of this Claim Checker, specifically designed to shed light on the grey areas where the of the client’s claim may not meet legal requirements.


To conclude the clinic, Eleanor Stenson summarily offered an insight into the benefits and pitfalls of making claims under the 1975 Inheritance Act. This overview specifically focused on the type of claimants she had previously discussed at the start of the clinic. It explored advantages of the 1975 Act which covered, not being bound by a will, finalising unresolved financial matters, and giving opportunities to those estranged from the deceased. The disadvantages comprising of evidential issues surrounding relationships, finances already being resolved and having to prove entitlement.


What’s next? – Larke vs Nugus

At the close of a very successful and inciteful Contentious Clinic, Stenson looked to the future in anticipation of IDR’S next clinic in September this year, which looked forward to having Martin Holdsworth as one of its speakers.


We are taking a break in August but will be back with a bang in September as Martin Holdsworth will provide training on Larke vs Nugus requests.

Many of you have asked for training on this area and so we will be covering off

– What is a LvN request and what are they seeking?

– Clarity on when you should respond to a LvN and when not

– Practical issues of consent, professional negligence and and fees

– How to make responding to LvN requests easier by planning ahead


Register me