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25th July 2016

Reasonable financial provision: The right to buy.

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Warner –v- Lewis [2016] EWHC 1787 (Ch)

In a noteworthy decision, the High Court has awarded a 91 year old man the right to purchase the home which he shared with his deceased cohabitant under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

The Court’s decision highlights that an award by way of reasonable financial provision for an applicant’s “maintenance” under the 1975 Act is not necessarily restricted to a transfer of money from the estate and can include the provision of an asset of the estate for full consideration. The case confirms that “maintenance” will not necessarily be restricted to supporting the applicant’s daily costs of living but can, in certain circumstances, amount to other forms of assistance which will help the applicant sustain a reasonable quality of life. In this case, the Court held that Mr Warner’s need for “maintenance” and his wish to remain living in the deceased’s property which he had occupied for the past 20 years could be satisfied by ordering the transfer to him of the deceased’s property at market value.

If you are considering a claim against an estate, or need to defend one, please contact Kate Harris on 01223 461155 or click here to email Kate.