The Succession Act was enacted in part to correct any unfair treatment of people who were dependent upon the deceased and were not provided for in the deceased’s will. An application has to be brought within 12 months of the deceased’s death. Those who are eligible to make a claim for provision from a will under the Succession Act are:
The husband or wife of the deceased;
The child of the deceased;
Someone with whom the deceased was living in a domestic relationship at the time of their death;
A former wife or husband of the deceased;
A person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased, and who was, at any time a member of a household of which the deceased a member;
A grandchild who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased.
It is in your interests if you feel you fall within one of these categories to seek legal advice.
In order to make a claim under the Succession Act the applicant must provide evidence of their needs and that they were not properly provided for in the will. The Court may take into account many factors including but not limited to:
the character and conduct of the applicant during the deceased's life,
contributions that the applicant made to the deceased's property and well-being and;
any other factors that the Court regards as relevant.
In certain circumstances the Court may be prepared to make orders in respect of property of the deceased that was disposed of prior to their death. However to get those sorts of orders the applicant would have to provide sufficient evidence to show that the deceased disposed of that property specifically with the intention of defeating a Succession Act claim.