Deliberately leaving people out of wills & resulting family provision claims

Deliberately leaving people out of wills & resulting family provision claims

People often write wills entirely leaving out (whether deliberately or inadvertently) family members or other ‘eligible’ people.

These types of wills tend to give rise to many family provision claims and with the rise of ‘online’ and ‘will kit’ options, their prevalence is on the rise. Often they are seen in circumstances arising from second or blended families, when the deceased leaves everything to his or her new spouse and nothing (or very little) to his or her children.

On occasion, there may be a good reason to write a child or other eligible person out of a will. There may be addictions or long-term estrangement for many years. Although the deceased may have wished to not include certain people in their will, if that person is an eligible person, then they have a right to contest it, and if they do, then it will be up to the court (or the other beneficiaries in a mediation) to decide on the division of the estate. For this reason, it is strongly advisable to include a statement in the will explaining why a particular person has been left out (or perhaps only received a token gift) of the estate.

If you or someone you know is involved in a contest over an estate, or you need to consider putting a Will in place (or updating an existing will), then now may be the time to get in touch. We recommend that in the first instance you discuss your situation with us in our SmartMove initial 30-minute discounted consultation (in person or by telephone), which we offer for just $80 and which can be booked through our website or by simply getting in touch. Austral Legal. Practical advice