A person who relies on someone else for maintenance or financial support. On the death of the latter, the courts now have wide discretionary powers to award financial provision to dependants out of the estate of the deceased. The list of dependants includes not only spouses, former spouses, children, and children of the family, but anyone (e.g. a lover, housekeeper, or servant) who was being maintained to some extent by the deceased immediately before his death. See also reasonable financial provision.