When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse has certain rights under the Family Law Act.
An estate typically passes as per a will, partial intestacy or complete intestacy. The surviving spouse has a choice of accepting their interest in their deceased spouse’s estate or their entitlement from the equalization of the deceased’s net family properties.
On choosing the entitlement from net family property equalization, the spouse needs to make sure that all mandatory requirements are complied with within six months of the deceased’s death.
As per Section 5 of the Family Law Act, the surviving spouse needs to make an election within a specified limitation period. The spouse can request the court to extend the time limit allowed for the election. Typically, the spouse requests for an extension if they lack sufficient information to make a proper decision in the allotted time.
Careful analysis is to be done for the entitlements to be received as per the will or intestacy. Only then the spouse should make the decision to choose the estate’s interest or equalizing net family property.
The marriage contract should also be reviewed including a careful analysis of the situation in which the contract was entered. Each spouse’s property and other assets should also be carefully determined including the time and manner of acquisition of those assets.
As per the Succession Law Reform Act, an application for dependent support claim can be made along with the application for equalization of net family property. It can be done if the spouse believes that the equalization payment alone will not be sufficient to support them.
How We Can Help
It is recommended to discuss and understand your options with a knowledgeable and experienced Wills and Estate Lawyer. If you wish to discuss Family Law Act claims or need to prepare claim documentation, please call us today. At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our experienced Wills and Estate lawyers understand your specific circumstances and provide tailored and customized solutions for each of them.
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