Need help with a Family Provisions Claim?

Grief, in response to significant loss is an extremely difficult journey, affecting every part of life. It can be made even more complex if relationships with the deceased have been strained or difficult or if one or more parties is of the opinion that the estate has not been fairly and evenly distributed amongst everyone who could be eligible to make a Claim.

Sometimes, even though a valid Will can be identified and is not contested, you may feel that adequate provisions have not been made for you in the Will, given the nature of your relationship with the deceased. If this is the case, you may be able to make a Family Provisions Claim to the Court (under the Succession Act 2006), requesting that you be provided for from the estate of the deceased.

If you feel that you have a valid claim, the procedure begins with filing a Summons, accompanied by a affidavit, which involves a sworn statement by you to support your claim that the provisions in the Will are inadequate for your proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. In most cases this claim is made to the Supreme Court and any decision made by the court must take into account:

your financial position

the size and nature of the deceased’s estate

your relationship with the deceased

others who have legitimate claims on the estate

Provisions can be paid in the form of:

a lump sum of money

periodic payments of money

property provisions

any other manner the Court orders

The decision to pursue a Family Provisions Claim can be a difficult one. You may have real concerns about the repercussions of taking this course of action. Alternatively you may just feel overwhelmed by your personal loss and the complexity of your own grief. In some cases, the nature of the relationships between those who have been close in some way with the deceased can also create difficulties.

Our approachable and experienced lawyers can help you determine your eligibility to make a Family Provisions Claim and if you decided to proceed, assist you in navigating the process involved. At Aaron Legal we understand that matters like this require sensitivity, discretion and the utmost confidentiality. You can be confident of receiving from us all of the advice, understanding and assistance you will need in the process of making a Family Provisions Claim.

Succession Act 2006

Legislation in New South Wales, under the Succession Act 2006, gives certain people the right to formally request a Court Order that they are provided for from an estate, even if they have not been named as a beneficiary in the Will of the deceased. Under the Succession Act 2006, an application must be made within 12 months of the deceased person’s death.

Those who might be eligible to make a Family Provisions Claim are the spouse of the deceased at the time of the deceased person’s death, the de-facto partner of the deceased or person with whom the deceased was living in a close personal relationship at the time of their death, a child of the deceased person or a child of someone in a domestic relationship with the deceased person at the time of their death, a former wife or husband of the deceased person, a person who has at some time been dependent upon the deceased person, a grandchild of the deceased person or a person who has at some point in time been a member of the same household as the deceased person.

While the relationships above make you eligible to make a claim, many other factors must be considered by the Court in order to determine whether or not you are entitled to provisions from the estate. These include the adequacy of the provisions in the existing Will, competing claims and your financial resources and earning capacity.

It is important to note that this legislation only applies if the assets of the estate are in New South Wales. If any property of the estate is held in other States or Countries, different laws apply. If any of the assets of the estate are in another State or Country, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor in that State or Country as soon as possible.

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