If you leave a small gift for someone in your Will, does that mean they can’t make any further claims? In short, no it does not.

Of course, you’re free to leave your property and assets to whomever you choose, but there are risks involved in excluding a person from your Will or trying to leave them only a small amount or “gift”.

In fact, leaving someone an amount less than what a court thinks is “proper” will not stop that person receiving further provision out of your estate, subject to the details of their claim.

Anyone who is a beneficiary in your Will can contest their provision and ask for more. 

The court will consider the size of the estate, and the other competing claims. If a beneficiary is left only a small amount, and the estate is considered large enough, the court could increase the share of the estate to that person.

If you’re thinking about disinheriting someone, or leaving them out of your Will altogether, you might need to think about the reasons for doing so.

In some cases, it’s obvious – few people want to leave anything to their former spouse, for example. But in other cases, you may have agreed to give someone a generous gift in your lifetime – for example, helping your children with a down payment on a house – in exchange for receiving less in your Will. If that is the case, it’s vital to have everything in writing. 

If you’re thinking about contesting a Will, there are a several factors the court will take into consideration, including:

  • Your financial needs
  • Your character and conduct
  • Your relationship with the deceased
  • The size of the estate
  • Your financial resources including your earning capacity
  • Any disability you may have
  • Your age
  • Whether the deceased person “maintained you”, even in part, before their death

Succession planning is an important part of life.

If you’re looking to make or change your Will, or contest a Will, you will need expert legal advice.

The estate planning specialists at GLG Legal Springfield can help you every step of the way. Contact our office on (07) 3288 3511 to make an appointment today.