Family provision claims help people contest a will. For example, you might make a claim if you didn't receive as much from a will as you expected. Or, you might claim if you weren't included in a will when you think you ought to have been.
These disputes can be difficult to handle. Before you decide whether to make a claim, you should take legal advice. How can a lawyer help you decide whether to go ahead?
1. Check Your Eligibility
Before you can make a family provision claim, you have to prove that you are eligible. People who make these claims are often close relatives of the person who died. For example, eligible persons include spouses, partners, children and grandchildren.
However, you don't always have to have been related to the deceased to qualify. For example, family provision claims sometimes also apply to people who were dependent on the deceased or who lived in their household. It's not always easy to know whether you are an eligible person or not. A lawyer can help you work out if you do qualify so that you can then decide how to proceed.
2. Assess Your Chances of Success
There are a lot of different factors in play when you contest a will in this way. You have to make a case for a share/greater share of the estate's assets. You might believe you have a case; however, you need a court to find in your favour as well. If you take the claim to court and you lose, then you might be liable for the other party's costs as well as your own. If you take legal advice first, your lawyer can look at your case and assess your chances of success. You can then decide if you want to proceed with the claim.
3. See if You Can Settle Out of Court
You don't have to take a family provision claim to court. You can settle with the will's executor in some cases. However, this is best done with legal representation to make sure you get a fair result that won't be challenged later. A lawyer can help you work out if a settlement might be possible. They can negotiate with the executor on your behalf and sort out the legal aspects of any award you accept. If this doesn't work, they can then represent you in court if you decide to take this route.
To find out more about your chances of success and the best way to proceed, contact a local lawyer with experience of dealing with will disputes.
Welcome! My name is Jessica, and I work as a legal aid secretary. I am in awe of the lawyers in my office and the variety of cases they cover. From injury compensation to family court matters, they need to understand the law in a broad range of areas. As a legal secretary, it is often my job to research particular points of law or find certain cases for reference. It is a fascinating job and I work hard to keep up with the constant changes to our laws and legal processes. Friends and family often ask me for direction on legal matters and whilst I explain that I am no expert, I usually manage to provide sound advice. This blog is for people who share my passion for the law or who want to understand more about our legal system. I hope you find it engaging and useful.