Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975



The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is an Act of the
United Kingdom Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of Westminster, London. It alone possesses legislative supremacy ...
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of receiving private property, titles, debts, entitlements, privileges, rights, and obligations upon the death of an individual. The rules of inheritance differ among societies and have changed over time. Official ...
England and Wales England and Wales () is one of the three legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. It covers the constituent countries England and Wales and was formed by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. The substantive law of the jurisdiction is Eng ...
. It has been amended, for example to take into account civil partnerships.


This Act makes provision for a
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accor ...
to vary (and extend when appropriate) the distribution of the estate of a deceased person to any spouse, former spouse, child, child of the family or dependant of that person in cases where the deceased person's
will Will may refer to: Common meanings * Will and testament, instructions for the disposition of one's property after death * Will (philosophy), or willpower * Will (sociology) * Will, volition (psychology) * Will, a modal verb - see Shall and will ...
or the standard rules of intestacy fail to make ''reasonable financial provision''. Such provision can be derived not just from monetary assets but from any others forming part of the estate or which have been disposed of in the six years prior to the death. The Act was introduced to extend the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938, following reports from the Law Commission in 1973 and 1974.

Types of claimants

There are categories under which someone can make an Inheritance Act 1975 claim by virtue of their relationship at death with a person who was domiciled in England and Wales. These categories are: * Spouse or civil partner * Former spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or repartnered * Person living as cohabitant * Child * Someone treated as a child or being financially maintained In each of these categories there are criteria and requirements that must be satisfied for eligibility to claim.


This Act entirely repealed the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938. Ten other Acts were partly repealed by this Act, those repeals are listed in the Schedule to the Act; further amendments to other legislation are made by section 26 of this Act.

See also

* English land law * List of Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament, 1960-1979 *
Intestacy Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies without having in force a valid will or other binding declaration. Alternatively this may also apply where a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of the estat ...

External links

Debate in the House of Lords on the second reading
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in most legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and high (or final) court of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of ...
case law
Ilott v The Blue Cross and others


United Kingdom Acts of Parliament 1975 Inheritance {{UK-statute-stub