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Claim against estate by infant children

 

 

Businessman’s estate challenged by infants

 

The High Court has awarded a lump sum of £386,000 to be paid from the testator`s estate to his two minor

children aged three and six years.

 

This has been reported in the case of Ubbi v Ubbi (2018) EWHC 1396.

 

The total estate had a value of £3.5m.

 

The children`s claim was made by their mother acting as a litigation friend.

 

The testator had a long-term affair with the children`s mother and was in the process of divorcing his spouse.

However, the testator had not recently updated his will and failed to make any provision for his children.

 

The two children made a claim for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family

and Dependants) Act 1975, otherwise known as the `Inheritance Act`.

 

The High Court has power to make an award if reasonable to do so but must consider the relevant factors under

section 3 of the Inheritance Act.

 

There is very little reported case law or guidance on how the section 3 factors apply to claims by infant children,which is why this case is of importance to lawyers who specialise in private client work.

 

Section 3 factors

 

The section 3 factors (for a minor child) require a consideration of “…the manner in which the applicant was

being or in which he might expect to be educated or trained…”.

 

In this case, this required the court to consider if there was evidence of a reasonable expectation of receiving a

private school education.

 

On the facts, there was no evidence of a firm intention by the testator to privately educate the children and the

court did not allow the claim for private school fees in the award.

 

The award of £386,000 did include housing and childcare costs.

 

Summary

 

This case emphasises the need to regularly review your will, particularly if there has been a significant change in your circumstances.

 

Consider if your will makes adequate provision for your spouse or partner and your children. This is particularly important if you have children from a previous relationship.

 

Making a new will, or amending an existing will, is extremely cost-effective and may avoid the cost and

uncertainty of a claim against your estate.

 

Please contact our experienced team for a competitive quote for a new will on 01827 311411 or

enquiries@rutherfordslegal.com or by post to Rutherfords LLP, Ventura House, Ventura Park Road,

Tamworth B78 3HL

 

 

Tony Illsley

Partner & Head of Private Client Department

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