Q&As

The six-month time limit to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) is due to expire shortly, but I am concerned that it might not be possible to engage with the other side and I am concerned about issuing the claim due to potential coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. What should I do?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/03/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The six-month time limit to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) is due to expire shortly, but I am concerned that it might not be possible to engage with the other side and I am concerned about issuing the claim due to potential coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. What should I do?

The six-month time limit to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) is due to expire shortly, but I am concerned that it might not be possible to engage with the other side and I am concerned about issuing the claim due to potential coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. What should I do?

An action under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) should generally be commenced before the expiration of six months from the date of a grant to the estate. An application after that date can only be made with the permission of the court.

See I(PFD)A 1975, s 4:

‘An application for an order under section 2 of this Act shall not, except with the permission of the court, be made after the end of the period of six months from the date on which representation with respect to the estate of the deceased is first taken out [(but nothing prevents the making of an application before such representation is first taken out)].’

The question of issuing a claim with the court’s permission after the six-month period has expired has been considered by the courts in the recent cases of (among others):

  1. Cowan v Foreman—see News Analysis: Court of Appeal allows Cowan appeal and clarifies the status of standstill agreements in family

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