In the field of general law, it goes without saying that complicated cases are as normal for any practitioner as breathing air is for humans, in general. From corporate law to litigation, the general law file is packed with an endless array of complicated concepts that entail the services of skilled experts. However, there’s one aspect of the industry that riddled with more intricacies than anything else: challenging a will.
Why is challenging a will so complicated?
Generally speaking, the entire experience of challenging a will is one of the most complicated situations that anyone can face because there are so many complications and with little room for errors. When approached with the wrong bits of knowledge in mind and a lack of professional help or services, challenging a well can turn disastrous in a snap and leave you with:
- No inheritance (as part of the penalty that is handed out by the Australian government)
- No money due to all the expenses on a long and perilous court process
- Wasted time
As previously mentioned, the biggest challenge of any will challenge is the possibility of losing your share on inheritance entirely should it be proven that your claim has an insufficient basis. This comes as a result of something called a “no-contest” clause.
Need to challenge a will but can’t fathom the risk?
Fortunately, avoiding the grim end-result of having no will whatsoever can be avoided if you approach the process with due patience, understanding, and professional help. To ensure that you get to challenge a will in the most successful way possible, here’s what you need to know before calling your local lawyer and filing the necessary documents:
“Do I have a proper basis for a challenge?”
Before you even consider pursuing a will challenge to get what you deserve, it is important to ensure that you have a proper basis as to why you’re challenging the document in the first place.
When building up your case for contesting the will, it is important to build your narrative and argument by showing why there’s something wrong with the will or the conditions that it was made, signed, and enforced in. There are several case-winning factors that you should watch out for when challenging a will of any kind, such as:
- The will itself not meeting important formal requirements (e.g. The signature of two witnesses in the document, notarization with an accredited, and licensed notary public)
- The will-maker not being in the right capacity (e.g. Drunkenness, a presence of any threat, hallucination, or use of force) to make a will and sign it
“Is there a flaw in the document requirements of the will itself?”
Another basis that an authorized representative will watch out for when going over your will challenge case is the presence of any flaws in the document requirements of the will itself. If you suspect that the will that your loved one enforced did not meet the set requirements and is wide open for a dispute, here’s a checklist of factors that you need to watch out for:
- [ ] – The document was not signed by the following: the will-maker themselves, and two certified adults who are not set to receive anything under the document itself
- [ ] – The document itself was not signed in the presence of any witnesses at all (unless the will owner wrote and signed the will in their own handwriting, effectively making it a “holographic” will)
If you’ve answered the two aforementioned questions with a strong, resounding “yes,” then the next step towards getting your fair share from the will of your loved one is to hire an expert lawyer with vast experiences in the field.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to challenge a will in Sydney, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
This article is intended to provide general information. You should obtain professional advice before you undertake any course of action.