The appeal against a decision in a recent case, in which a claim for provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 was brought against an estate by the actress daughter of a woman who had had a longstanding relationship with the deceased, a well-known artist, has now been heard by the Court of Appeal.
The legislation under which the case was brought provides that a claim can be made when a person dies leaving dependants and no provision (or inadequate provision) has been made for them in the will.
In this case, the claim was unusual: the claimant did not live with the artist and was not in receipt of a regular income from her. However, she had received a great deal of money by way of loans, which were not repaid, and had also incurred debts which had been repaid for her by the artist.
In the artist’s will, the actress was bequeathed only £2,500 – ‘because she has already benefited’. She argued, however, that she should have further provision made for her and that failing to do so would lead to her being made bankrupt.
The Court of Appeal gave the claim short shrift and confirmed that the artist’s will, which gave the bulk of her estate to the National Trust, should stand.