Q: Nine years ago I had a child with my former lover who was and still is married. When our relationship ended I respected his wishes to keep it and our son a secret, to prevent his family suffering any indignity as a result of his behaviour. In return he paid a generous sum into my bank account each month which also covered school fees. Two months ago the money stopped and I have just discovered that my former lover died of a sudden heart attack. It is unlikely that he would have made any provision for us in his Will. Is there any way I can make a claim on his estate on behalf of our son?
A: You do not say whether your former lover is named as your son’s father on his birth certificate. If not you would need to prove he was the father. Assuming you can achieve such proof, yes, you would be able to make a claim on the deceased’s estate under Section 3 of The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
The 1975 Act enables a child of the deceased to make a claim on the estate of a parent provided they can show they were financially dependent on the deceased and that the deceased did not make adequate provision for them in their Will or by an intestacy. Under Section 3 of the 1975 Act the court will take into account factors including the financial resources and needs of the applicant, other applicants and beneficiaries of the deceased’s Will. The court will also take into account any obligations and responsibilities of the deceased towards any applicants and beneficiaries, the size of the estate, any physical and mental disabilities of applicants and beneficiaries and other relevant details. You should seek immediate in-depth advice from a reputable law firm.