The trustees of the estate of popular British music icon of the 80s and 90s, George Michael, have recently reached a financial settlement with his former partner, Kenny Goss. Kenny is reported to have been given a share of George’s £97m estate after having issued a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
George sadly died in 2016 leaving behind his fortune amassed following a successful career as one half of pop duo Wham! and as a solo music artist. In accordance with his Will, the majority of George’s estate was left to members of his family and friends which excluded Kenny as well as George’s boyfriend at the time of his death, Fadi Fawaz.
Kenny was reported to have been in a relationship with George from 1996 to 2009. The basis for bringing his claim against George’s estate was that he alleged he had been financially maintained by George. Although the settlement sum has been kept confidential, Kenny is said to have sought a payment of £15,000 a month from George’s estate.
This recent case highlights how certain categories of people who have been left out of a Will may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 if they can prove they ought to have been provided with ‘reasonable financial provision’ under the deceased’s Will.
Where an individual has been left out of a Will and decides to bring a claim they can only do so if they meet certain conditions under the Act. Such claims are also subject to a strict time limit of 6 months from the date that a Grant of Probate has been obtained. Therefore prospective Claimants should act swiftly to ensure they bring their claim as soon as possible. It may be possible to bring a claim out of time by seeking the court’s permission but we would recommend seeking advice on the merits of such an application in the first instance.
Bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 can be fairly complex and requires careful consideration of the specific facts and circumstances involving your particular case. The starting point will be to consider-
- Whether or not you fall into any of the categories of people that are deemed eligible under the Act?
- What will be considered ‘reasonable financial provision’ in your circumstances?
- What factors and evidence in your case should you seek to rely on in support of your claim?
- What issues will a court take into account when making an assessment?
We recommend seeking specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity if you are faced with any of the issues mentioned above.
At Glaisyers, we have highly experienced and specialist litigation lawyers dealing with a range of inheritance and probate disputes. Whether you are an Executor or a Trustee of a deceased’s estate faced with defending such a claim or you are an individual who may be eligible to bring an inheritance claim, please feel free to contact us today on 0161 832 4666 to discuss your matter or request a call back from a member of our team by visiting our website at www.glaisyers.com/contact and we will be happy to help.