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Excluding Someone From Your Will

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The only way to be sure that your wishes will be carried out when you are no longer alive is to make a will. However, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants} Act 1975 makes it possible for certain people to challenge the inheritance that they have received after you have died.

If the court accepts that a will failed to make what is termed in the Inheritance Act 1975 “reasonable financial provision” for that person, then the court may divert money or assets from other people named in the will to that person.

The relevant factors that the court takes into account when considering someone’s claim under the Inheritance Act are the financial circumstances of the person making the claim in comparison to the financial position of the people named as beneficiaries in the will. If you exclude someone from your will who is in a poor financial situation then they may have the basis of a claim.

The court also takes into account any moral obligations and responsibilities that the person had at the time of their death, the size of the estate, and also any physical or mental disabilities of the person making the claim and of the beneficiaries named in the will.

It is seen by the court as a balancing act between the various people named as beneficiaries in the will and any people putting forward claims under the Inheritance Act.

Most wills are not challenged and the starting point is that a person has complete freedom of choice to leave their money and assets and possessions to whoever they wish. However, if an individual qualifies as being within a category of person entitled to make a claim under the Inheritance Act,
then unfortunately even if you exclude them from your will they may still be able to make a claim
against your estate.

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