Are you eligible to challenge a will?
Contesting a will can be complex, confusing and is subject to strict time constraints. A will lawyer can assist you to understand the process and your eligibility to contest a will in a time of grieving.
A will can be contested before or after there has been authorisation for the executor to manage the estate, known as a grant of probate. It is simpler to contest the validity of the will before the executor starts to administer and distribute the estate, but is still possible after this has started.
So what are you actually contesting when you are contesting a will?
When you are contesting a will you may be challenging the validity of that will itself. A will lawyer can assist you to determine what you are contesting, but often contests include undue influence, fraud, forgery, or a lack of testamentary capacity.
On the other hand, you may be making a claim against the estate on the basis that you have not been adequately provided for, or not provided for at all. This is often called a ‘family provision’ claim.
Who is eligible to make either of these claims?
The persons who are eligible to challenge the validity of a will or make family provision claims are beneficiaries named in a current or past will and persons who would be entitled to the estate where there was no will. Such people include a spouse at the time of death, children, adopted children, stepchildren if they were dependent, former spouses, persons who were dependant on the deceased and those who lived in the same household as the deceased at any time, people who were in a close personal relationship and dependant grandchildren.
If you need advice about making a claim against an estate, you should contact one of our Estate Lawyers.
If you don’t have a Will, we recommend that you contact one of our Will Lawyers. A Will may help to minimise a potential dispute in the division of your estate upon your death. If you would like a new Will or to update an old Will, contact a one of our estate planning lawyers on 9635 7966 or through the website www.matthewsfolbigg.com.au