Variation to Inheritance Act award

Nick Palmer

In a recent case, Taylor v Bell 2013, EW Misc B3 CC, it was demonstrated that it is possible to vary an order under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Mr Gardiner died in 2006 leaving a £2m estate, which he left in trust for one of his sons and also to charity. The will did not make any provision for Mr Gardiner’s son Miles who was 17 when his father died.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 entitles certain people to bring a claim against a deceased’s estate if reasonable financial provision has not been made for them.

Miles brought a successful claim under this act against his father’s estate. An agreement was reached in 2008 and the executors were required to put a sum aside towards Miles’ education costs, anticipating that Miles would complete his education in 2014. However, circumstances changed when Miles had a road traffic accident that slowed his education, and recently he successfully applied to the court to vary that agreement, despite the executors’ resistance to this.

Key to this case was the fact that the grounds for the application did not vary considerably from the original purpose of the order.

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Nick Palmer is a lawyer at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

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