Once you have established that:
You are an eligible person;
You are within the relevant time limit (or an exception applies);
You have not been adequately provided for; and
You have a need for provision;
… the next step is to take a look at what you’re up against.
Considering the competing claims upon the estate is a crucial part of the process because the court needs to weigh up the wishes of the deceased person versus the needs of any eligible persons he or she has failed to adequately provide for.
Who are your competitors? That is, who is named as a beneficiary in the will and who, if anyone, is also bringing a claim for family provision against the estate?
Of your competitors, do they have a stronger, lesser or equal claim upon the estate? If a long term spouse or de facto of the deceased is in an equal financial position to a child of the deceased, the claim of a long-term partner will generally be greater than that of a child. But all cases are different.
Once you have identified any competitors, you need to ask what your financial circumstances are in relation to theirs. Do they need the money just as much as you do? Do they have a mortgage or do they own their own home? Do they have a good job? Does their partner earn a good income? Are they in good health?
Depending on the circumstances, which vary greatly, this step takes specialist knowledge. At this stage, if you have checked all of the other boxes, you should obtain specialised advice.
Call us on 1800 720 211 (or email) and an experienced will dispute lawyer will answer the phone.