Provision of a WILL
You are obliged to reasonably provide for your dependents in your Will – no more
When making a Will it is vital to remember your obligations to family members and others who may depend on you financially. Remember, however, your duty is to make reasonable provision for them – no more.
There was a case recently in the UK where a mother prior to her death directed the sale of her home, she instructed the proceeds should be split in six equal parts and in various proportions between her six children and six grandchildren.
As often happens in these situations, one of the children decided that the Will did not make reasonable provision for her and she lodged proceedings. She sought an increased share of her mother’s estate.
The Court, however, found her to be an unsatisfactory witness, exaggerating her statements and in particular claiming that she had provided for her mother in her old age which was not in fact so. She accepted that she was found to have exaggerated her claim .
On that basis it meant that her mother was under no obligation to provide anything for her.
It is not a question of automatically providing for the daughter’s needs, whether that means providing financially or somewhere to live. She had no greater obligations or responsibilities towards that daughter than towards any other children and their families.
While this is a UK case, it is very much a similar situation here in Ireland and considering this case was decided only in December 2022 .
A claim must have a proper basis in fact. It is not sufficient to simply start off to have a go with the hope and expectation that the Estate will pay for the legal costs of bringing such type of action.