Even though the law may recognise a person's choice of whom will inherit, there can be many good reasons why you may wish to contest. If you think you are entitled to more from a deceased estate, or you have been left out entirely, our Wills and Estate team may well be able to help you.
Call now for a free claim assessment – 1800 650 656.
Reasons for Contesting a Will or Estate
There are several reasons that you may wish to contest a Will or Estate:
- The Will is not valid
- You have not been included in the Will or Estate
- You feel that you have been unfairly provided for, or you became estranged from the deceased
- There is no Will, or the Administrator has not administered a Will correctly.
Challenging a Will is different to challenging an Estate
When you challenge a Will, you are in effect challenging the validity of the legal document itself.
There are four basic “grounds” that you can challenge or contest a Will. They are:
- Lack of Testamentary (mental) Capacity;
- Undue Influence; and
Challenging an Estate is different. When you challenge an Estate you are disputing the amount, if any, that has been specified as an entitlement within the Will or Estate, not the legality of the document itself.
Who can challenge a Will?
You can only challenge the validity of a Will if you have an 'interest' in the deceased estate.
When you meet with us we can help determine whether you have a right to challenge a Will, and what your prospects of success are.
Who can challenge an Estate?
Only a person who is eligible, as defined by the legislation, can bring a claim. To be classed as eligible you must either be:
- the wife or husband of the deceased person at time of death
- a person with whom the deceased person was living in a de facto relationship at the time of their death (including same sex partners)
- a child of the deceased person
- a former wife or husband of the deceased person
- a person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person, and at any time a member of the same household as the deceased person
- a grandchild who was at any particular time wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person
- a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the deceased person's death.
How do the Courts decide?
The court won’t decide cases based on notions of fairness, but will consider what the moral obligation of the deceased person was towards you. In addition, it will consider your circumstances and needs.
Costs of estate litigation may be paid out of the estate or may be included in any settlement between the parties.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to dispute a Will or make a claim, then drop in and speak to one of our experienced solicitors who can guide you through the requirements and make a determination whether you have a case.
For further information on how we can help you please contact our experienced Wills & Estate lawyer on 1800 650 656.