In a will, a testator has the right to depose of his estate (immovable and movable property) as he so chooses.
In some instances, the testator may leave an inadequate provision of his estate to his wife and children or in other instances disinherit his wife and children entirely in the will. If this happens, an application can be made in court for a reasonable provision of the estate of the testator.
This type of application is limited to the father, mother, spouse or a child under eighteen (18) years of age.
This application is discretionary. The law only gives the court the power of discretion to interfere with the will of the testator if comes to the conclusion that
(a) The testator has not made reasonable provisions for the maintenance of any of the designated dependent and that
(b) Hardship would be caused
To qualify for an award of reasonable maintenance as a parent, the parent must prove that he/she is the natural or biological parent or adopted parent of the deceased person and also that he/she was being maintained wholly or in part by the deceased testator during his life time or by his will.
In case of a spouse, she must establish that she was legally married to the deceased testator immediately before his death and must also show that the deceased was maintaining her before his death.
To qualify for an award of reasonable maintenance as a child, the child must either be a natural child, an adopted child, a child born out of wedlock or child who was conceived but is born after the death of the testator.
The application must be made no later than three (3) years from the date upon which probate is granted.
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