Forfeiture Act 1982

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Forfeiture Act 1982
Long title An Act to provide for relief for persons guilty of unlawful killing from forfeiture of inheritance and other rights; to enable such persons to apply for financial provision out of the deceased’s estate; to provide for the question whether pension and social security benefits have been forfeited to be determined by the Social Security Commissioners; and for connected purposes.
Citation 1982 c.34
Territorial extent England and Wales[1]
Royal assent 13 July 1982
Commencement 13 October 1982 (sections 1 to 3 and 5);[2]
31 December 1982 (section 4);[3]
Royal Assent (sections 6 and 7)
Other legislation
Relates to Estates of Deceased Persons (Forfeiture Rule and Law of Succession) Act 2011
Status: Amended
Text of the Forfeiture Act 1982 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Forfeiture Act 1982 (c. 34) is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which allows for flexibility in the application of the common law rule known as the "forfeiture rule," which normally prevents people from benefiting from killing another person. The Act does not apply to people convicted of murder, so that murderers may not inherit property from their victims.[4]


Under section 1(1) the "forfeiture rule" is defined as "the rule of public policy which in certain circumstances precludes a person who has unlawfully killed another from acquiring a benefit in consequence of the killing." Section 2 provides:

"(1) The court shall not make an order under this section modifying the effect of the forfeiture rule in any case unless it is satisfied that, having regard to the conduct of the offender and of the deceased and to such other circumstances as appear to the court to be material, the justice of the case requires the effect of the rule to be so modified in that case.
(2) Where a court determines that the forfeiture rule has precluded a person (in this section referred to as "the offender") who has unlawfully killed another from acquiring any interest in property ... the court may make an order under this section modifying the effect of that rule."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Section 6 makes provision for passing similar legislation in Northern Ireland.
  2. ^ Section 7
  3. ^ Forfeiture Act 1982 Commencement Order 1982
  4. ^ Section 5