Seeking a greater share of an estate

Testators have an obligation to make sure they adequately provide for people to whom they owe a moral and financial duty.

If you are left out of a Will or only left limited provision, then you may be able to bring claim under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (often called a ‘family provision’ or ‘Part IV’ claim).

In order to be successful with a family provision claim:

  • You must be an ‘eligible person’ and legislation sets out a comprehensive list of eligible people. This includes spouses, domestic partners, children, step-children and other persons who were dependant on the testator for support.
  • The testator must have had a moral duty to make provision for you. A range of factors are considered here such as your relationship with the testator, whether you contributed to their financial or personal welfare and whether you were dependant on them. It will also be considered whether there was any conduct by you that justified omission from the Will.
  • You must show that the provision made in the Will (if any) is not adequate for your maintenance and support. This requires an examination of your finances and usually those of other beneficiaries.

If the Court is satisfied that you ought to have further provision made for you then they will determine the appropriate amount.

There is a strict time limit of six (6) months from the date of the Grant of Probate to commence a family provision claim.

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