For a variety of reasons, people are ‘left out’ or feel they are left with inadequate provision in a Will.
Some examples of claims made for further provision from an estate include:
- As a child of the deceased, has adequate provision been made?
- What provision should have been made for you?
- As the deceased’s spouse or former spouse, do you have an entitlement? Was any provision made and/or should any provision have been made?
- You are now divorced, are you entitled to any of the deceased’s estate?
- I was in a defacto relationship with the deceased. Are you, the defacto partner, entitled to share in the deceased’s estate.
- Are you defending an inheritance claim? If so, has there been any disentitling conduct on the part of the claimant?
These are but a few examples of matters relating to inheritance claims.
Making an Inheritance Claim/Seeking Further Provision
Family relationships change and Wills do not always reflect the family dynamics at the time of death.
When a person dies, their assets pass to their beneficiaries. Usually, the beneficiaries are named in the deceased’s Will, and usually, beneficiaries are (but not always) family members.
You might feel that you have “left out”, left with inadequate provisions in the Will or be facing a claim by someone else about whether they should be included as a beneficiary.
These matters can all be the subject of an Inheritance Claim.
Some examples of this are:
- A change in family circumstances can mean that the Will does not properly deal with distribution of assets upon death (e.g. a divorce, separation or new marriage might have occurred)
- Family members being excluded from the Will
- Where there might have been promises made but not kept about the person estate
- Whether there has been any conduct which might disentitle a claim
In such cases, family members (including parents, spouses, children, grandchildren and in certain cases, siblings and step-children) may have the right to challenge, the Will and seek further provision from the estate. Contesting the validity of a will calls into question whether the document itself is valid and this topic should not be confused with Inheritance Claims (which are claims against the estate for some or more share of the estate) – for Inheritance Claims see the Inheritance Claims page.
We are experienced in assisting clients with contesting or challenging Wills (Inheritance Claims), or defending claims.
We can assist you in giving advice as to whether the Will is valid, advice on claims, what to do if an Inheritance Claim can be made, what are your legal rights in terms of claiming or preventing such claims being made, and your options to resolve the matter.
It is essential that when dealing with Inheritance Claims and Wills that action is taken as soon as possible. This is due to strict deadlines for making an application for an Inheritance Claim.
To arrange a free, confidential discussion about your Wills and Inheritance Claims matter, please contact us today.
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Our team of experienced estate planning lawyers can help with all matters relating to estate planning and administration including wills, probate and estates, inheritance claims, succession planning, intestacy, and challenging a will, please contact us today.
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Our Wills & Estates Team