Legal Tip 50: Family Provision Claims Against Estates Have you seen the ads by lawyers - “have you been left out of a will” sort of thing. These are about “family Provision” claims mostly. People have the freedom to give their assets to anyone they choose to. But in some cases this can lead to harsh outcomes so laws have been enacted to protect the ‘vulnerable’. Where a person has been left out of a will they can make what is known as a “Family Provision Claim”. Under NSW law Family Provision Legislation comes under the Succession Act. Only certain people can make a Family Provision claim and these are people who meet the definition of “eligible persons” under section 52 Succession Act 2006 (NSW) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/sa2006138/s57.html An eligible person is (summary): husband/wife at time of death defacto at the time of death child former wife or husband a dependant who was a grandchild or member of the deceased’s household someone who was living in a close personal relationship at the time of death Note what is not included in the definition stepchildren former de facto partners. Cousins etc (unless in a close personal relationship or a dependent at the time of death). The Courts have the power to adjust a deceased person’s will or how the estate will be paid out under the intestacy laws by virtue of s59. The court can consider certain matters which are listed at s60: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/sa2006138/s60.html When making a will you should consider all the potential eligible persons and whether you are leaving adequate provision. If there is someone you want to specifically exclude you need specialised legal advice.