If a person dies with a valid Will in place, his or her estate is usually distributed according to their wishes – as you would expect.
We should emphasise that most estates are largely uncontested or perhaps have only a few issues which can be resolved once the parties come to understand the legal principles that apply. An experienced Estate Lawyer can help in this regard and in the process avoid unnecessary cost and misunderstanding
Estates can be contested and claims can be made against the estate in certain circumstances.
There are three main types of claims:
1. There is a Will but someone has been (or feel that they have been) left out of a Will unfairly, or not adequately provided for.
The “someone” must fall into the category of ‘eligible persons’ as defined in the Succession Act 2006 to make a claim on this basis.
‘Eligible persons’ basically are limited to spouses (both married or de facto) at the time of death, child (minor or adult), a person who was at any particular time wholly or partly dependent on the deceased, a grandchild who at some time was a member of the household of which the deceased was a member, or a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased’s death and a former spouse.