Family provision – who is eligible to claim from a deceased estate?

Left out of a will or seeking more –  who can apply for provision?

family provision, eligibile person, will, deceased estate, challenge a will, contest a will, Family provision laws were introduced to remedy situations where willmakers failed to leave adequate provision for the proper maintenance, support and advancement in life for close family, usually spouses, partners and children.

The legislation gives the court1 discretionary power to order provision from a deceased person’s estate, where found to be inadequate, to “eligible” applicants, under certain circumstances. It is not automatic.

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Storing a will – ensure it is safe and secure

Storing a will for safekeepingstoring a will, will storage, safe custody for a will, willmaking, deceased estate,
Wills are important private and confidential documents which take legal effect on the death of its maker.  An original will should be stored in a safe and secure place after being signed and witnessed.  Ideally the place should be fireproof, and protected from tampering or destruction. 

Willmakers should consider their personal circumstances, family and other relationships when considering storage options. In some situations storing a will at home is not advisable if it is likely persons adverse to what it contains can access it. 

And make sure you inform your nominated executors or legal personal representatives of your original documents. 

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Inheritance and the Twelve Tables, an ancient Roman statute

The Law of the Twelve Tables 451- 449 BCE

The Twelve Tables is a body of law, or a code, (although not likely in the strict sense of a code covering all topics), is widely accepted as forming the basis of Roman Law.  Consisting of mostly civil law it was important in codifying and publicising the customary laws of the predominantly agrarian community operating at that time.

Table V dealt with inheritance and guardianship.  Some excerpts follow:

” 4.  If anyone who has no direct heir dies intestate the nearest male agnate shall have the estate.”
” 5.  If there is not a male agnate the male clansmen shall have the estate.”
” 6.  Persons for whom by will…a guardian is not given, for them..their male agnates shall be guardians.”
” 9.  Debts of the estate of a deceased shall be divided, according to law, among the heirs, proportionally to the share of the inheritance that each acquires. “

 

An agnate was a relative from the father’s side, someone of the male lineage.

 Ancient Roman Statutes, The Corpus of Roman Law, A Translation, Volume II,
A C Johnson, P R Coleman-Norton, F C Bourne,
C Pharr & M B Pharr (Eds),
University of Texas Press, Austin, 1961

© BHS Legal
April 2014

Twelve Tables, Roman law, inheritance law