Can you claim an inheritance from your sibling?

19 March, 2018

Married couples and people with children will normally leave their money to their spouse or children after they die. If they are not

properly provided for, a spouse or child is entitled to bring a claim for a share or a large share of the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the 1975 Act”) .

However, what is the position of other family members, in particular siblings? Whilst they are frequently left legacies, if they are not, can they contest a Will?

Siblings have the right to dispute a Will in the same way as any person who benefits under a previous Will or intestacy can.

If, however, the claim is not about challenging the validity of a Will but, instead, seeking to challenge the provision they receive, unlike spouses and children, sibling are not automatically entitled to pursue an inheritance claim under the 1975 Act.

Instead, in order to bring a claim under the 1975 Act they will need to establish eligibility by showing they were dependent on their sibling, typically by being financially supported by them while they were alive.

If you can establish an entitlement to bring a claim, a Court will have to decide what if any provision to make. In doing this, the Court would take all relevant factors into account, including the sibling’s present and future financial needs and resources.

The time limit for making a claim under the 1975 Act is 6 months after the grant of probate is taken out. Therefore, if you believe you may have a claim it is important to seek legal advice sooner rather than later.

If you would like to discuss whether you are an eligible claimant under the 1975 Act, please contact Phil Youdan at philip.youdan@crippspg.co.uk.