What to do if you feel left out of a loved one’s Will

Published 15 Jul 2013

Most of us know about the importance of writing a Will when planning ahead in life.

While this may not be a priority while we are in our teens or early twenties, by the time we start to get on in life and our careers, we often look to the future more and more, and think about what-if scenarios.

A Will is the ultimate contingency, dictating what should be done with our assets when we die and how our loved ones are to benefit from their division.

In the first place, creating a legal document that codifies our wishes for how our Estate should be divided can give us peace of mind that our loved ones will be taken care of in our absence.

Just as importantly, it can reduce the likelihood that they will become embroiled in Inheritance Disputes during what already can be a very difficult time.

Sometimes, however, people who may expect to have been beneficiaries in the distribution of a loved one’s Will can find that they receive nothing, or a much smaller amount than they think they deserve.

In general, the way someone chooses to distribute their Estate is up to them; however, in certain cases it is possible for certain people to challenge the provisions in a Will when they feel left out.

Children, present or former spouses, grandchildren, fellow household members, dependents and people who were in a close personal relationship with the deceased are among those who may be entitled to make Family Provision Claims.

These are orders which seek to adjust the provision of a Will in respect to someone that has not been adequately provided for following the death of a loved one.

The definition of what comprises ‘adequate provision’ will vary depending on the circumstances, but in general means enough for “the proper maintenance, education or advancement in life” of the person in question.

If you wish to make a Family Provision Claim, there are certain requirements you need to abide by, including filing within strict time limits.

It is also important to ensure that you are eligible to make this kind of claim on someone’s Estate. This depends on your relationship with them and may differ depending on where you live.

For more information about what to do when you wish to Contest a Will, speak to specialist Contesting Wills lawyers today.

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