Family provision claims offer people a way to challenge a loved one’s will if they feel the deceased didn’t adequately provide for their needs during the estate planning process.
Only eligible individuals can pursue a family provision claim, which includes spouses, de-facto partners and children. But what about friends of the person who passed away? Are they entitled to a potential share of the estate?
Despite the name, you don’t have to be a relative to pursue family provision claims. However, the deceased’s friends do not have an automatic right to take the matter to court.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the relevant laws to see whether you may be eligible for provision through a friend’s will.
What factors are considered?
The Succession Act 2006 outlines specific criteria you have to meet in order to legitimise your claim. As a friend, you would need to show you were:
- Wholly or partly dependent on the deceased at some point in time; and
- A member of the same household as the deceased at the time of their death or any other time
You might still be able to make a claim even if you don’t meet these stipulations. For example, the deceased may have made you a promise prior to their death that you would receive a share of their estate in exchange for a service, such as becoming their carer.
These pledges can be legally binding if you can prove that upholding your end of the agreement put you at a disadvantage, whether this is due to lost time, money, resources, or other detrimental outcomes.
Contacting a contesting wills lawyer
Wills and estates can be a confusing area of law for many people, which is why you should always contact an experienced contesting wills lawyer in NSW to discuss your case in more detail.
If you’re not sure whether you meet the necessary criteria for pursuing a family provision claim, please get in touch with Gerard Malouf & Partners today for a free consultation.
You may be surprised what you’re entitled to as a friend of the deceased, particularly if you provided them with care and support in their final days.
Enlisting the services of a no-win, no-fee firm also means that you won’t risk being out of pocket at the end of the process, even if your claim is unsuccessful.