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The question most frequently asked about Inheritance Act claims is what exactly is deemed to be reasonable financial provision? This depends on the status of the applicant and their relationship with the deceased. Factors such as the as the length of the marriage or civil partnership, the financial resources and needs of the applicant, any disability that made them financially or physically dependent on the deceased, any other responsibilities or obligations owed to the applicant by the deceased will be taken into account when deciding what provision should be made.
The size of the estate and its value, as well as the purpose and duration of any payments or contributions made by the deceased to someone they 'maintained', will be considered by the court. Claims by former spouses are rare if there was a divorce settlement since it is usual to exclude Inheritance Act claims in any financial settlement order.
Claims using the Inheritance Act cannot be excluded in a will but the deceased may write a 'statement of intention' in their will or a separate document setting out their reasons for making unequal provision (or no provision at all) for a particular person.
If the will is disputed, that statement, whilst unlikely to be binding, may provide insight into their intentions and the reasons for their decision. However, it is ultimately for the court to decide whether to make provision in favour of an applicant, and what that provision may be.