HC Deb 08 December 1965 vol 722 cc126-7W
Mr. Kenneth Lomas

asked the Minister without Portfolio, if he will seek to substitute a percentage figure instead of adequate provision for those classes of persons whom the deceased was under a legal duty to maintain, as' contained in the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938.

Sir Eric Fletcher

No. The Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938 enables the court to order the making of such reasonable provision as it thinks fit out of the deceased's estate, and a discretion of this kind is preferable to any fixed percentage.

Mr. Lomas

asked the Minister without Portfolio if he will seek to extend the provisions of the Inheritance (Family Provisions) Act 1938 to include adult male children who have been the innocent victims of a divorce action or separation order and have had the responsibility of maintaining and supporting an elderly parent.

Sir Eric Fletcher

Sections 3 and 5 of the Matrimonial Causes (Property and Maintenance) Act 1958 already enable a person who has been divorced to apply for maintenance out of his or her deceased former spouse's estate. There does not appear to he any need to enlarge the class of dependants entitled to apply under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act, though this is no doubt a matter which will be taken into account by the Law Commission in its examination of family inheritance law.