Family Provision and Family Practices - The Discretionary Regime of the Inheritance Act of England and Wales

21 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2014

Date Written: April 29, 2014


English Abstract: This paper examines the discretionary ‘family provision’ jurisdiction in England and Wales. It considers how the criteria governing eligibility to make a claim, and the principles and rationales underlying the exercise of the court’s powers, shed light on what we understand as ‘family’ relationships and the fluidity between family structure and family practices. It argues that the law can and does operate dynamically and responsively to determine which kinds of relationships and what qualities of emotional or supportive bonds, should be recognised as giving rise to a ‘sense of obligation’ to provide financial support after a death in the family.

Spanish Abstract: Este artículo analiza la jurisdicción las "provisiones familiares" discrecionales en Inglaterra y Gales. Considera que los criterios de elegibilidad para presentar una reclamación, y los principios y razones que subyacen bajo el ejercicio de los poderes del tribunal, arrojan luz sobre lo que entendemos como relaciones "familiares" y la fluidez entre la estructura familiar y las prácticas familiares. Se argumenta que la ley puede, y de hecho opera, de forma dinámica y responsable para determinar qué tipo de relaciones y qué cualidades tienen los vínculos emocionales o de apoyo, y se debe reconocer que genera "un sentido de obligación" de prestar apoyo financiero después de una muerte en la familia.

Keywords: Inheritance, family, discretion, norms, practices, England and Wales, Herencia, familia, discreción, normas, prácticas, Inglaterra y Gales

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Gillian, Family Provision and Family Practices - The Discretionary Regime of the Inheritance Act of England and Wales (April 29, 2014). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Gillian Douglas (Contact Author)

The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2078481367 (Phone)

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics