Have you been cut out of a family member or loved one’s Will? Perhaps you didn’t get the sized inheritance you were hoping for. If you have been excluded from a Will or have received an inheritance that does not meet your proper maintenance and support, then you may have standing to bring a Family Provision Application.
Can I claim against an estate? What is a Family Provision Application?
Each state and territory in Australia has legislation that gives the Court discretion to make an order for further provision from an estate if the testator (the deceased) did not make adequate provision for the claimant’s proper maintenance and support. A claim for further provision from an estate is known as a “Family Provision Application”.
There are limited people who have standing to bring a Family Provision Application against an estate. The only eligible claimants are:
- spouse of the deceased: this may be a husband, wife, de facto spouse, registered partner, or a dependant former husband, wife or registered partner;
- child of the deceased: this includes a biological child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased;
- dependant of the deceased: any person who was being wholly or substantially maintained or supported by the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death. The dependant must be a parent of the deceased, or a parent of a surviving minor child of the deceased, or a person under the age of 18 years.
What if I have been left something but it is not enough?
If you have received some benefit or inheritance from an estate, there is no minimum or threshold amount that will stop you from bringing a Family Provision Application. When considering your claim, the Court will have regard to your specific needs and maintenance requirements (for example, disabilities, health issues, capacity for employment or self-support etc) and your current financial circumstances.
Want to talk about your options?
It is important to receive legal advice for your particular set of circumstances and your jurisdiction. There are prescribed time limits within which you must bring your claim against the estate.
Contact one of our succession law team members today and we can sit down to discuss your circumstances and what we can help you achieve.