When a dependant of a person who dies finds that they have not been provided for in the will of the deceased, and it would be reasonable for them to expect to be, they can make a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
When a multi-millionaire died in 2006 without making any financial provision for his 17-year-old son, the son made a claim under the Act for reasonable financial provision to be made for him from the estate. An order was made to allow him to be supported for a long enough period to finish his education.
For various reasons, including a hospital stay as a result of a motoring accident, his education did not go according to plan. He therefore went back to court to have the funding extended so that he could finish his degree and take a postgraduate course. The funding support out of the estate had stopped in 2014.
The original order provided for a maximum of £210,000 to be paid to the young man. At the time the funding ceased, the amount paid to him was about half of that sum. The court decided that his 'financial circumstances are such that financial provision is reasonably required by him to enable him to complete his postgraduate studies'. In the circumstances, an order was made that he be given £6,500 for the year to August 2015 and £7,500 for each of the two subsequent years, contingent on his attending a full-time course of education.
It might easily be assumed that all decisions of the court are final, and in some cases they are. However, there are circumstances in which orders can be varied where good grounds exist.