Published 19 Jun 2017
Family provision claims are designed to help people receive financial recompense when they feel they have not been adequately provided for from a loved one's estate.
The Succession Act 2006 outlines the people who can make a claim, including the deceased's spouses (both current and former), de-facto partners and children.
However, if you or someone you know looked after the person who died prior to their death, you may be wondering whether or not carers who are not related to the deceased can pursue a claim.
The short answer is 'yes', although every case is different, so you should seek more information from an experienced contesting wills lawyer to ensure eligibility.
Let's examine the relevant sections of the Act that can define the carer's right to claim.
Section 57 of the Act
The Act doesn't specifically identify carers as eligible to claim; however, Section 57 (1) lists all people who are allowed to seek a provision order, including:
"A person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person's death."
For the purposes of the Act, a 'close personal relationship' is defined as a relationship between two adults, whether or not they are related, who are living together and one or both are providing domestic care for the other.
However, there are a couple of caveats and not all carers can make a claim.
First, if you are receiving a fee or other reward for your caring responsibilities, you will not be eligible. Second, you cannot be performing your duties on behalf of someone else or an organisation.
Making a claim
Are you a carer and feel you may be eligible to pursue provisions from the estate of someone who has died? Your next step should be to contact a lawyer who can confirm whether you or not you have a case.
No-win, no-fee firms such as Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers can give you advice on family provision claims and help you decide if you'd like to proceed.
The benefit of using a no-win, no-fee lawyer is that you will not have to pay for legal costs until you receive a settlement. This gives you peace of mind that you can pursue a claim without worrying about covering the upfront expenses of a case.
Contact us today to learn more about our contesting wills services.