Family Provision Claims on an Estate
The Succession Act 2006 provides that the Court may on application make a Family Provision Order in relation to the estate of a deceased person if the Court is satisfied that provision out of the estate of the deceased person ought to have been made for “the maintenance, education or advancement in life of the eligible person, having regard to the facts known to the Court at the time the Order is made.”
An “eligible person” is determined having regard to all the circumstances of the case.
An application for a Family Provision Order may be made not later than 12 months after the date of the death of the deceased person unless the Court otherwise orders.
The matters that the Court may consider include:-
a) Any family or other relationship between the applicant and the deceased person including the nature and duration of the relationship;
b) The nature and extent of obligations or responsibility owed by the deceased person to the applicant;
c) The nature and extent of the deceased person’s estate;
d) The financial resources and financial needs both present and future of the applicant;
e) If the applicant is cohabiting with another person – the financial circumstances of the other person;
f) Any physical, intellectual or mental disability of the applicant;
g) The age of the applicant when the application is being considered;
h) Any contribution made to the deceased’s estate or to the welfare of the deceased person or the deceased person’s family;
i) Any provision made for the applicant by the deceased person, either during the deceased person’s life time or from the deceased person’s estate;
j) Any evidence of the testamentary intentions of the deceased person including evidence of statements made by the deceased person;
k) Whether the applicant was being maintained by the deceased person before her death;
l) Whether any other person is liable to support the applicant;
m) The character and conduct of the applicant before and after the death of the deceased person;
n) Any other matter the Court considers relevant.
Early action and advice should be sought bearing in mind the time limit that applies.