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31 March 2009 Changes to claims on deceased estates

By Greg Parker, Partner

Certain people such as a husband, wife, partner, children, grandchildren and others are entitled to make a claim on an Estate of a deceased person if that person left the claimant with inadequate provision in their Will or on intestacy (without a Will).

By the Succession Amendment (Family Provision) Act 2008, the legislation in this area changed on 1 March 2009.

The law is still substantially similar, but the more important changes are as follows:

  1. Claimants now have to make a claim within 12 months of the deceased’s death (whereas previously a claim could be made within 18 months).
  2. The Act sets out in some detail the factors that the court should take into account when considering a claim (whereas previously this was not clearly set out in the legislation).
  3. The court can make an order regarding property in or outside of New South Wales whether or not the deceased person lived in New South Wales at the date of death.
  4. There are special rules designed to save the Estate and claimant legal costs by dispensing with the rules of evidence where the Estate has a value of less than $750,000.

The intention behind these amendments is to hasten the process of dealing with claims made by a claimant on an Estate. That means that, as unsavoury as this might be, claimants and Executors have to start addressing these issues within a few months of the deceased’s death.

For further information contact:

Greg Parker, Partner  |  Phone: +61 2 9233 5544  |  Email: gpp@swaab.com.au

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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