Challenging a Will: What information does an applicant need to show when making an application for a greater share in the deceased’s estate?

If a person decides to make a claim against a deceased person’s estate seeking a greater share in the deceased’s property, that person will need to provide information to the Court to show that they have needs that have not been adequately provided for by the deceased.

Additionally, a person will need to provide information to the Court on the nature and quality of the relationship between the applicant and the deceased.

An applicant can also provide information to the Court as to:

  • the size, nature and value of the deceased’s assets and any liabilities;
  • any contribution, financial or otherwise, the applicant has made to the deceased’s property or welfare during the deceased’s lifetime;
  • any obligations or responsibilities the applicant feels that the deceased owed to him or her;
  • whether the deceased made any statements to the applicant as to how he or she would provide for the applicant; and
  • details of the deceased’s will and whether the deceased appointed a person to deal with his or her estate.

Although an applicant may be an eligible person to make an application for better provision from a deceased person’s estate, it is important that the applicant shows to the court that they have needs, present and future, that the deceased has failed to recognise in his or her will.

The Court will need to know the nature and extent of the person’s present needs as well as what his or her future needs may be. Accordingly the applicant will need to provide extensive information as to their current financial circumstances. This includes details of the applicant’s income and any liabilities or debts the applicant may have to provide information to the Court as to the applicant’s financial resources. The Court will also ask for details on the property the applicant owns and has bought and sold.

In addition, the applicant will need to provide as far as reasonably possible information on what his or her future needs may be. If the applicant anticipates that they will have future medical needs, then information will need to be provided as to what they are.

 

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