Who can dispute a Will?
It varies from state to state, but some of the people who may be entitled to claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- Wife or husband
- Defacto partner
- A former spouse or de facto partner
- Child, stepchild or grandchild
- Parent of a child of the deceased
- Someone who was financially dependent on the deceased
This is a very general guide only, so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Again, this depends on the State where proceedings are to be commenced. In Queensland you have 6 months to give notice of your intention to make a claim on the estate and you must commence proceedings within 9 months. There may be grounds to make a claim outside of this time, however, you will need the courts approval. In NSW you have 12 months to provide notice of your intention to make a claim upon the estate. It is best to discuss your unique circumstances with Don Fenwick, our principal solicitor.
What if I don’t believe the Will was valid?
You can challenge a Will if you believe that the Will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. You can also challenge a Will if you believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact Don Fenwick our Principal solicitor who specialises in Estate Law. Don can assess your claim and discuss your particular circumstances with you. If it’s worth pursuing, we will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter isn’t resolved, we will lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and in most cases mediation will be required by the court.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing when the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.
We can help
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will it is important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees, but if litigation is inevitable, we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.
To find out more, arrange an appointment with our experienced estate lawyer, Don Fenwick.