Handling a will is often an emotionally charged experience. No one enjoys a loved one passing away, let alone having to deal with financial matters so soon after a passing. One of the issues that, unfortunately, often crops up when dealing with a will is the Part IV Application. A Part IV Application, in essence, is a claim for family provision that is made against a deceased estate. When situations arise where the deceased’s Will fails to make adequate provision for the person or persons they are responsible for providing for. Contesting a will is never an easy thing to do, but in certain circumstances, it is absolutely essential, especially when living parties involved are left in a situation where they are inadequately provided for. In today’s article, we have a look at what exactly a Part IV application is, who is eligible for it and we look into the process of applying for one if you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation. Read on to find out more.
Who Is Eligible to make a Part IV Application?
The first and most important factor to consider when applying for a Part IV application is to check your eligibility. If you have been left out of a Will that you feel entitled to, you may be able to make a Part IV application in order to receive adequate financial support. Eligibility Criteria:
If you are a spouse/de-facto partner of the deceased at the time of death.
If you are a child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased.
If you are a child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased who was under the age of 18 at the time of death or a full-time student aged 18-25 years old.
If you are a grandchild of the deceased.
If you are a spouse of a child of the deceased and if the child dies within 12 months of the deceased’s death.
If you are a child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased and are eligible for disability.
If you believe yourself to be treated as a child by the deceased, regardless of biological connection (sometimes applicable to godchildren).
If you are a former spouse of the deceased and issues such as property settlement were not finalised before the deceased’s passing.
If you are a registered caring partner of the deceased.
spouse or domestic partner of a child of the deceased, if the child dies within one year of the deceased’s death.
If you fall under any one of the categories above, you are eligible for a Part IV Application.
First, We Look At Mediation
Like all court proceedings, it is always favourable that the involved parties come to a mutual agreement instead of taking matters directly to trial. The first step you should take before making a Part IV Application is to enter mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. However, if all parties’ claims fail to be resolved, the matter will then proceed to be heard and dealt with before the Court.
How Do I Make a Part IV Application?
If you are looking to make a Part IV claim, you will need to submit an application to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Keep in mind that your application is made against the will’s executor. Once your application has been submitted, the Court will make their judgement on whether the deceased has a moral duty to provide for you. The Court will look into matters concerning your character, relationship with the deceased and your conduct towards them. The Court will also take into consideration the original Will and the size of the estate/inheritance and the circumstances of other beneficiaries listed. Other factors that will be taken into consideration include your existing financial resources and any special needs that you or the other beneficiaries may have. This is important as should the court decide that you are financially independent and stable, then they may come to a conclusion that the deceased did not have any moral duty to provide for you.It’s advised that you consult with your lawyer as they will be able to help you provide the documentation, affidavits, and handle other factors including preparing and calling witnesses. preparations such as calling witnesses. A lawyer also offers the added benefits of being an unbiased third party who will also assist you in remaining rational during this trying time. Finally, once all the evidence has been looked at, the Court may take a number of months to come to their final judgement. Once their final judgement has been made, you will be made aware of the results of your Part IV application. ___________We hope that this article has given you some valuable insight into the Part IV application. Whilst dealing with matters concerning a Will is often emotionally charged, we do hope that the information you have gathered today will assist you in your decision on whether you will be making a Part IV application or not. All the best, and our many condolences for your loss.