Inheritance claims – Who can make a claim against your estate?

In South Australia, only certain people are entitled under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (“the Act”) to make a claim against another person’s deceased estate.

Who is entitled to make a claim?

The following persons are entitled to make a claim under the Act:

  • a spouse of the deceased person;
  • a person who has been divorced from the deceased person;
  • a person declared to be the domestic partner of a deceased person;
  • a child of the deceased person;
  • a child of a spouse or domestic partner of the deceased being a child who was maintained wholly or partly or who was legally entitled to be maintained wholly or partly by the deceased person immediately before their death;
  • a grandchild of the deceased person;
  • a parent of the deceased person who satisfies the Court that they cared for, or contributed to the maintenance of, the deceased person during their lifetime; or
  • a brother or sister of the deceased person who satisfies the Court that they cared for, or contributed to the maintenance of, the deceased person during their lifetime.

Timeframe for making a claim

In order for a person to make a claim against another person’s deceased estate, they must do so within six months of a grant of probate or letters of administration.

The court may grant an extension of time if a claim is made before the final distribution of the deceased person’s estate.

Why can a person make a claim?

If a claimant believes they have been left without adequate provision for their proper maintenance, education or advancement in life then they can make a claim against the estate.

Can I prohibit someone from making a claim against my estate?

The short answer is no.  Any person who is eligible has the right to make a claim against a deceased estate irrespective of whether the deceased wanted to leave them something or not.  However, a carefully prepared estate plan can reduce the ability of a claimant to make a successful claim.

How we can help

If you believe that you are entitled to make a claim against a deceased estate or you believe that someone may try to make a claim against your estate when you pass away, please contact us at Lynch Meyer Lawyers to make an appointment to discuss your options.