Family Provision, The Family Farm and Rural Patriarchy: Three Actors in Search of a Play?

Malcolm Voyce


This article describes how rural claimants have had their claims dealt with under family provision legislation. This legislation provides that, where a testator does not provide adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of certain dependants, the court in its discretion may make further provision out of the estate. As regards this legislation, this article concentrates on the expectations of farming sons who have worked on farms and who may expect to receive a major share of a family property. Their claim is compared against the claims of daughters and widows. The article contends that family provision legislation, which in many cases works to the advantage of farming sons, reflects forms of patriarchy which overlap with and incorporate rural ideas of labour and the place of women on farms.



Family provision, maintenance and support, dependents, patriarchy, property

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