We have all heard stories of family members unsatisfied by the legacies left to them in a relative’s Will. So what happens if you have not left anything to your grandchildren or children in your Will, or if your grand/children believe that you have not left them enough? If you could be in this situation, it is important for you to know the circumstances under which your grand/children can make a claim on your estate.
The Family Provision Act defines ‘eligible persons’ who can make a claim on a deceased person’s estate if they feel that they have not been adequately provided for. Spouses and children are automatically ‘eligible persons’. Grandchildren do not automatically have legal standing to make a claim against your Will, they are only considered ‘eligible persons’ by proving additional factors.
First, a grandchild must establish that they were dependent on the Will maker during their lifetime. Evidence that the Will maker directly and immediately supported the grandchild through continued financial assistance is enough to mean that a grandchild is able to bring a claim against a Will. A person making a Will is not expected to make provisions for their grandchildren unless these special circumstances are proved, showing that the Testator or Testatrix undertook a continuing and substantial responsibility to support that grandchild during their lifetime. Giving your grandchildren frequent gifts or incidental support is not enough for them to establish that they were dependent on you.
Finally, the grandchild must also have a need for provision based on their current financial circumstances, before any award is made to them. If you feel you qualify as a eligible person and would just like to make a enquiry, please call us on 9570 7844 and Owen Hodge Lawyers can give you the advice you need on a no win, no fee basis.
Alternatively, if you would like to prevent anyone from contesting your will Owen Hodge Lawyers can give you advice on what can and should be done about the matter.