Can the division of the estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy be contested?

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

Yes. The person contesting the division of the Estate will usually be a family member of the deceased and make a ‘family provision’ claim.

A potential claim against the Estate will usually only arise if:

a) The deceased died whilst domiciled in the State in which the law applies;  and
b) The person making the claim does so within a certain period of time from the date of the granting of Letters of Administration. This is usually between six (6) and nine (9) months;
c) The claimant is eligible to make the claim against the estate; and
d) The claimant can prove that reasonable financial provision has not been made for them under the rules of intestacy.

Usually the issue of domicile will be quite straightforward. The general rule is that the deceased is considered to be domiciled in the State in which he / she had his permanent home and where he / she intended to remain living indefinitely. A court will need to make a ruling if there is a dispute as to the deceased’s domicile.

It is important to know that a claim against the Estate must be lodged in court within the prescribed time limit.

If a claimant fails to file their application within this time limit, their application will not be heard without the court first providing its permission, or ‘leave’, for the application to proceed. If the court decides that the application cannot proceed out-of-time, then unfortunately the claimant will have lost their opportunity to make a family provision claim.

You should receive legal advice about a potential claim and have a solicitor represent you as you will need to go to court. CWPL can provide you with initial advice on the likely court ruling and obtain and provide evidence on your behalf in the court proceedings.

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