Make a Claim on an Estate?
Making a Claim When You Are Not a Beneficiary
There are specific circumstances under which a person can make a claim on an estate even if you are not a named beneficiary.
- If you believe the will of the deceased is not valid due to the incapacity of the deceased at the time it was written, or that the will is somehow fraudulent or made under duress, or otherwise invalid.
- Under a Family Provision claim the law requires that eligible persons must be either:
(a) a person who was a wife or husband of the deceased person at the time of the deceased person’s death.
(b) a person with whom the deceased person was living in a de facto relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
(c) a child of the deceased person, or
(d) if the deceased person was at the time of their death, a party to a domestic relationship; a person who for the purposes of the Property (Relationships) Act 1984, was child of that relationship.
(Note: a stepchild or foster child is not a child of a domestic relationship)
(e) a former wife or husband of the deceased person.
(f) a person: -who was at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person, and
(g) who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member.
(h) a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
Importantly: If you fall under the categories above, you must also display a “need”. Even those directly related to the deceased can struggle to challenge an estate if they do not have a financial need.
The above is a general guide only. Matters of Estates, Probate and Family Provision can be complex. Unquestionably, cross-border issues are even more complex. If you feel that you are in a position of either making a claim, or defending an estate, seek legal assistance to establish the bona fides of such a claim. Executors have very specific responsibilities in this regard. They can find themselves personally liable if they are deemed to be remiss in their administration of an estate.
Koffels Solicitors & Barristers have extensive knowledge and expertise in both claims on, and defence of wills and estates. If you have questions, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.