and Family Provision Claims
and Family Provision Claims
Have you been left out of a will?
“Disputes about estates and wills can be messy and stressful, especially since they’re often between loved ones. It’s our job to resolve the matter as quickly and amicably as possible so that your relationships and your entitlements are protected in equal measure.”
– Alistair Stewart, Lawyer
Family Provisions Claims – Challenging Wills & contesting estates
When someone dies and lives behind assets such as, money or real estate, those assets have to go somewhere. Most people have a Will. A Will is a legal document which sets out what a person wants to happen to their assets when they die. If a person dies without a Will this is known as ‘intestacy’ and special rules apply as to who the assets go to. A person’s assets after they have died is call their ‘Estate’.
Unfortunately, some people make a Will that doesn’t provide for or provide enough for the people that really need it. Sometimes people who would have been included in a will if there was one miss out because of the rules of intestacy.
If you find yourself in either of these situations, you may be able to make a Family Provision Claim. A Family Provision Claim is an application to the Supreme Court seeking a share or a larger share of a deceased’ person’s estate. This is known as seeking an order for ‘Provision’.
In order to bring a Family Provision Claim you need to be a ‘eligible person’ and commence proceedings in the Supreme Court within 12 months of the date of death. People who are eligible to make a Family Provision Claim include:
- the wife or husband of the deceased
- a person who was living in a de facto relationship with the deceased (including same sex couples)
- a child of the deceased (including an adopted child)
- a former wife or husband of the deceased
- a person who was, at any particular time, wholly (entirely) or partly dependent on the deceased, and who is a grandchild of the deceased or was at that particular time a member of the same household as the deceased
- a person with whom the deceased was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
Before the Judge makes an order for provision from an estate he or she consider the following:
- the relationship between the applicant and the deceased person
- any obligations or responsibilities owed by the deceased person to the applicant
- the value and location of the deceased person’s estate
- the financial circumstances of the applicant, including their current and future financial needs
- whether the applicant is financially supported by another person
- whether the applicant has any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities
- the applicant’s age
- any contribution made by the applicant to increase the value of the estate
- whether the deceased person has already provided for the applicant during their lifetime or from the estate
- whether the deceased person provided maintenance, support or assistance to the applicant
- whether any other person is responsible to support the applicant
- the applicant’s character
- any applicable customary law if the deceased was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- any other claims on the estate
- any other matter the Judge may consider as relevant.
If you are successful in your Family Provision Claim the Court usually orders that the Estate pay your legal costs.
We offer ‘No Win, No Fee’ and fixed fee costing arrangements. For more about our Cost promise, click here.
We’ll have an initial, obligation-free chat with you about your relationship with the person who has recently passed. We’ll go through the legal checklist in terms of what you need to bring a claim, and will tell you from the get-go whether we think you have a case.
If you do, we’ll get all the details of your story and put together an application to the Court. Once that is on foot, our job will be to get you what you’re entitled to as quickly as possible, and without causing irreparable harm to your family relationships.
We’re always bound by your instructions — that means that we will recommend settlement options if we consider them to be appropriate, but the ultimate decision will be yours. Not to fear though, we’ll be there to keep you as informed as possible at all times.
Client Case Success Stories
Schofield King acted for a client in a sensitive matter concerning her mother’s estate. Laura had cared for her mother thoroughly for a long period of time but in the final years (as is often the case) a number of other people began to come out of the woodwork. Through a few strategic conversations between the new people and our client’s mother, the relationship between our client and her mother deteriorated. When Lauras’ mother sadly passed away, our client found out that she had been completely ignored in the will.
We stepped in, and commenced a claim on behalf of Laura seeking a share of the estate on the basis of Lauras’ relationship with her mother as well as the years that she thoughtfully and lovingly cared for her mother.
The matter resolved at mediation, without the need to proceed to a full hearing. Laura was extremely content with the settlement that she received, and (perhaps more importantly) was glad to be able to put the dispute behind her and begin to mend fences with her family.
While it may not always be the case that parties in estate disputes want to be on good terms when the dispute is over, we treat each case with the personal relationships in mind as well as the ultimate outcome — to make sure that you’re all set on both fronts when all’s said and done.
What Our Will Disputes and Estate Litigation
Claims Clients Say
Don’t just take our word for it.
Trust the word of the many clients we’ve helped.
After injuring my back at work and being continuously denied liability by my insurance. With special thanks to Jimmy, have been in to battle and won me the right to get me the treatment I needed.
Schofield King Lawyers, were fantastic, kept us up to date all the time, were always there to answer any questions, they were very professional at all times. I would have no hesitation recommending Schofield King Lawyers.
I got in touch with Schofield King Lawyers regarding some workers compensation. They provided good service and gave me all the answers I needed to know. I would recommend Schofield King Lawyers as I got what I was after.
I was being bullied at work and I didn't know where to turn. Fortunately, I called Schofield King Lawyers. They really know their way around the Industrial Relations system. It was like having a white knight to fight my battles when I didn't have the strength to. I have made many recommendations to Schofield King because I know they'll look after my friends and family.
Andrew just writing to you to thank you for all your support in acquiring payout. Payment was muchly appreciated I can’t thank you enough for going the extra mile for me; you went above and beyond on my case. Now thanks to your kindness and professionalism I can move forward and get back to being me.
I was was injured at work. Through working with Schofield King Lawyers, I found that I was eligible for compensation for my injury. My lawyer, Miles Hunt went above and beyond with my case and I would recommend Schofield King lawyers to anyone who asks. I especially liked their communication professionalism and personal touch to individuals cases is second to none.
I got injured at work and the insurance company declined my case when I was still getting treatment. I went to a well-known law firm but they told me they couldn't do anything about it. I went to the Union and they sent me to Schofield King Lawyers to see Jimmy. Jimmy got me the result in a faster time than he had originally estimated. The justice he got me was better than I could have expected. I am so happy with it and I recommend Schofield King Lawyers to everyone who is stuck in any problem. Thanks Jimmy.
Everyone at Schofield King has been really supportive of me and fought hard to force the insurance company to pay for my treatment. My lawyer Jimmy was relentless as he knew how important the treatment is to helping manage all the pain I have. He did a fantastic job fighting for my rights!
It has been a few days since my victory at the commission and as it is slowly sinking in. I am feeling not only vindicated but excited about the future. I haven't felt this positive for such a long time. I can not thank Jimmy enough for his great work. He has been very patient, confident and knowledgeable, and without his effort and support I wouldn't have been celebrating today. His assistant Nicole was excellent and very understanding with fast communication and great professionalism. I couldn't be happier.
After suffering a psychological injury at work, Schofield King Lawyers was recommended to me by a colleague and I was extremely lucky enough to have Miles take on my case. Miles was brilliant all the way through what was a very tough time. He was always approachable, happy to answer questions and always kept me informed. All the way through I felt very confident he had my best interest and very knowledgeable in terms of my case. I would highly recommend Miles and Schofield king lawyer and cannot thank them enough for such a successful outcome.
Having previously had my workers compensation claim dealt with by a different firm, and got nowhere (indeed, I was told to accept a very small pay out and move on with my life), I was then introduced to Miles and the team at Schofield King. It has been a very difficult fight and the insurance company have thrown everything they can me but Miles has been there every step of the way. He has put in an enormous amount of work on my behalf, been very patient and thorough throughout the whole process as well as being reassuring and totally committed. I would recommend Schofield King to anyone going through a compensation claim, they are always professional and work for best outcomes for clients as individuals rather than just another person to be pushed through the system, personally I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and support.
I would like to extend my thanks to Joanne and Miles at Schofield King Lawyers for their consistent efforts on my behalf. I have felt informed and supported throughout the process. Schofield King were positive and informative and I felt like they actually cared and they knew who I was which was important to me.... I would also like to thank Andrew the lawyer that helped at the hearing. He made it comfortable and bearable from the minute he walked in.. he explained everything and was patient as i was emotional... a real people person... so please thank him again for me. The barrister was just as comforting and supportive and i am happy with the present and possible future outcomes for my claim. Thanks again.
I had a worker's compensation claim declined after application and sought out my legal rights through Schofield King Lawyers in Port Macquarie Office via Andrew McQuilkin and the Schofield King team. After reviewing my claim, Andrew and his team quickly deduced that I had a case and with permission immediately commenced proceedings. Andrew and his team; in my opinion, have gone far beyond any expectation I had of the legal process and it is clear to me that Andrew and his team's primary concern; via numerous communications, has always been for my personal welfare. His team are courteous, professional and attentive to all needs. My worker's compensation claim has now been determined successful through the legal system. I would not hesitate in recommending Schofield King Lawyers to anyone.
Client names and photos have been changed to protect their privacy and confidentiality, but all testimonials are true and accurate accounts from the clients.