The loss of a family member is always a difficult time, but it can become more distressing to learn that you have not been included in the family member’s Will. It’s even more distressing if the matter turns into a full-blown dispute amongst family members.
What does the law say?
Generally, a person may leave their assets to whomever they wish. However, it doesn’t end there.
The law recognises that those who relied on the deceased for support can be unfairly left out of the deceased’s Will. The Family Provisions Act allows a claim to be made if the Will maker failed to provide for a family member where they had a moral obligation to do so.
Who can make a claim?
There are prescribed categories of those who can make a claim, including a child, the spouse or de facto partner of the deceased or a parent, just to name a few.
To show that you are entitled to receive some benefit from the estate you must show that the deceased had an obligation to provide for you and that you have been left without adequate provision for your proper maintenance, education or advancement in life.
Successful claim made by only child
Chamberlains recently acted for an only child who was left out of his mother’s Will. The son had a very close and dependent relationship with his mother, however the mother’s Will did not provide any provision for the son, instead leaving the estate to the mother’s siblings and her grandchildren. This claim displays one of the main reasons why the Family Provisions Act exists – to remedy the situation where provision should have been made by the Will maker.
Chamberlains were able to successfully resolve the claim without the need for a full hearing in Court and the son’s legal costs were paid by the estate.
If you have been unfairly left out of a Will contact our dedicated team today for a no-obligation appointment. It is important to note that Family Provisions claims are subject to strict time limits so be sure to contact us as soon as possible or you may be prevented from making a claim.
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