Thanks for confirming. Firstly, as the property was gifted to you in the 7 years prior to his death and he continued to benefit from the property, this should form part of his estate.
Your brother has a right to pursue an application for "reasonable provision" from the estate, but to be successful he will need to prove that he is in need or was financially dependent on your father. The court takes into account the following criteria when deciding on such claims:
- Your brother's present and future financial needs and resources.
- The present and future financial needs and resources of any beneficiary of the estate.
- Your father's obligations and responsibilities towards your brother and towards any beneficiary under the will.
- The size and nature of your father's estate.
- Any physical or mental disability of your brother or beneficiary.
- Any other matter (including the conduct of your brother or any other person).
For your information, an adult son cannot simply claim that, as a child, he expected to inherit. He would have to show that he was in financial need and that there were special circumstances. These might be that the deceased made promises to him or behaved towards him in a way that implied he felt some additional obligation towards him.
Even then, the smaller the estate relative to the competing claims, the less likely his claim will succeed. And if, for example, the deceased has explained in the will or in a separate note why nothing was left to the applicant, this can be taken into account – although the court is not bound to follow the deceased's wishes.
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