Deceased actor Johnny Briggs leaves his daughter out of his Will
The well-known soap star Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street for 30 years, sadly died on 28 February 2021 aged 85.
This week, it was revealed that, prior to his death, Johnny had made a Will leaving nothing to his estranged daughter, Karen Briggs, aged 55.
It is alleged that Karen and Johnny had a turbulent relationship, which involved Johnny disowning Karen after various drug related incidents.
Johnny’s estate is estimated to be worth in the region of £550,000 and his Will split his estate equally between his five other adult children.
During his lifetime, Johnny was said to have had many affairs and had divorced twice, including Karen’s mother.
Karen consequently blamed her parents’ divorce as the trigger for her drug addiction.
It remains to be seen if Karen will try to bring a claim against Johnny’s estate.
As a child of Johnny, Karen has a potential claim against Johnny’s estate because of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (‘the 1975 Act’).
In order to be successful, Karen will need to prove that reasonable financial provision has not been made for her under Johnny’s Will.
The categories of those entitled to bring a 1975 Act claim are:
- the spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
- a former spouse or civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried;
- a cohabitee of the deceased;
- a child of the deceased;
- any person who was treated by the deceased as a child;
- any person who was financially maintained by the deceased.
A claimant must be able to show that reasonable financial provision was not made for them, whether that is under the last Will of the deceased or the rules of intestacy.
The court will consider certain facts to determine whether reasonable financial provision has been made and, if not, how much provision to now make from the estate.
The factors the court will consider are:
- the claimant’s current financial resources and likely future needs;
- the financial needs of any other claimant;
- the financial needs of the other beneficiaries;
- any obligations and responsibilities the deceased had towards the claimant or beneficiaries;
- the size and nature of the deceased’s net estate;
- any physical or mental disability of the claimant or beneficiaries;
- anything else that may be considered relevant, such as the conduct of the claimant or the deceased.
Claims under the 1975 Act need to be issued at Court within 6 months of the date of the Grant of Probate and therefore must be made very promptly.
If you believe that you may have a possible claim under the 1975 Act or need to defend a 1975 Act claim, please contact our Disputed Wills and Trusts team.