The term “reasonable financial provision” is sometimes applied to wills whereby the deceased has left little or nothing to a dependent.
Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, even if a person does not intend to leave anything a dependent, that person can then claim, to receive a degree of funding from the estate to maintain their lifestyle.
A recent, high-profile case involves the will of the late songwriter Robin Gibb. Gibb left an estate which was reported to be valued at around £26 million, documented in a 15 page will.
Unfortunately, he saw fit to leave nothing for the child whom he fathered with his housekeeper, save for the final paragraph of the will, in which he asked his trustees to provide for her, should he not be able to make reasonable financial provision for her in time.
This means that provided she does so within the time limit imposed, the girl’s mother is able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 to claim provision for her daughter. This is despite claims that Gibb purchased an £850,000 house for the girl and her mother, and that his housekeeper is permitted to remain within that house.
For this reason, it is always worth including all dependents in your will, to avoid unnecessary legal proceedings in the civil court after the event of your death.