Dependants of the deceased may have standing to apply for greater provision from the estate under a Family Provision Application. Please see our earlier blog, “Contesting a Will, Part One: Family Provision Application”, for general information on FPAs.
Am I a dependant of the deceased?
Under the legislation, a ‘dependant’ is defined as any person who was being wholly or substantially maintained or supported (otherwise than for full valuable consideration) by the deceased at the time of the person’s death being—
(a) a parent of that deceased person; or
(b) the parent of a surviving child under the age of 18 years of that deceased person; or
(c) a person under the age of 18 years.
The phrase “otherwise than for full valuable consideration” precludes employees or paid carers of a deceased making a claim against the estate, even though they may have been dependent on the deceased for earning an income.
The Court will not make an order for a dependant to receive further provision from the estate unless the Court is satisfied that it is proper that some provision should be made for the dependant. When determining if it is proper that provision should be made for the dependant, the Court will have regard to the extent to which the dependant was being maintained or supported by the deceased before the deceased’s death, the need of the dependant for the continuance of that maintenance or support, and the circumstances particular to the case.
I’m a dependant of the deceased, what do I do now?
It is important for you to remember that 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.