Jelley v Illife: CA 1981

The court referred to the case of In re Beaumont and continued: ‘In considering whether a person is being maintained immediately before the death of the deceased, it is the settled basis or general arrangement between the parties as regards maintenance during the lifetime of the deceased which has to be looked at, not the actual, perhaps fluctuating, variation of it which exists immediately before his or her death. It is, I think, not disputed that a relationship of dependence which has persisted for years will not be defeated by its termination during a few weeks of mortal illness.’ and ‘Accordingly, I am of opinion that the court has to consider whether the deceased, otherwise than for valuable consideration (and irrespective of the existence of any contract), was in fact making a substantial contribution in money or money’s worth towards the reasonable needs of the plaintiff on a settled basis or arrangement which either was still in force immediately before the deceased’s death or would have lasted until her death but for the approach of death and the consequent inability of either party to continue to carry out the arrangement.’ Griffiths LJ: ‘The words ‘immediately before the death of the deceased’ in section (1)(1)(e) cannot be construed literally as applying to the de facto situation at death, but refer to the general arrangements for maintenance subsisting at the time of death. So that if for example the deceased had been making regular payments to the support of an old friend, the claim would not be defeated if those payments ceased during a terminal illness because the deceased was too ill to make them.’


Stephenson LJ, Griffiths LJ


[1981] Fam 128, [1981] 2 All ER 29


Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 1


England and Wales


ApprovedIn re Beaumont, Deceased; Martin v Midland Bank Trust Co Ltd 1980
The words in the section ‘immediately before’ in the context of the maintenance of the claimant by the deceased before the death, were not to be construed literally. The situation was to be viewed as the general arrangements for maintenance in place . .

Cited by:

CitedGully v Dix; In re Dix deceased CA 21-Jan-2004
The claimant sought provision from the estate under the Act. She had cohabited with the deceased for many years, but had moved out several months before the death because of her concern for his drunkenness which lead to threats of self harm.
CitedWitkowska v Kaminski ChD 25-Jul-2006
The claimant sought provision from the estate claiming to have lived with the deceased as his partner for the two years preceding his death. She appealed an order which would be enough to allow her to live in Poland, but not in England. She said . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Wills and Probate

Updated: 05 August 2022; Ref: scu.196713