Contested Wills & Estates

Contesting a Will in NSW

There are many reasons why people decide they are challenging a Will or disputing a Will in New South Wales. Among the most common are:

– The Will is not signed or witnessed properly;

– There is a later Will;

– The Will has been tampered with by someone;

– The Will does not leave adequate provision for a loved one;

– The Will maker lacked capacity to make his or her Will.

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Contesting a Will in Sydney NSW

What are the major types of claims on Wills?

You might be asking yourself if there are there grounds for contesting a Will. There are four major types of claims you can select from if you are intent on contesting a Will:

  1. Family maintenance: This is the most frequent sort of claim. It’s where a person who was close to the deceased feels that they deserve more, so they look to gain a bigger part of the estate than what they already have.
  2. Lack of capacity: If you were listed as a beneficiary in a prior version of a Will, but were taken off the final version when the Will-maker had restricted capacity, you might be in a position to contest the legitimacy of the last Will.
  3. Undue influence: The reasoning for this type of claim is where the Will-maker gets pressured into doing a Will. It needs to be shown that the person who passed away was ‘unduly influenced’ by someone, or a number of people, to sign a Will which didn’t match up with their actual wishes. This type of claim is usually very hard to be successful with.
  4. Breach of trust: If you think the executor has performed poorly in their role and you are a Will beneficiary, if you wish you can request that the court removes them.

Left out of a Will?

Left out of a will? Your share is not adequate? Can a will be contested? Do you need a will contest lawyer? We are experts in contesting a will.

Unfortunately, family members not getting along is very common. Sometimes this means that a person who would have expected to be included in a Will, is left out, causing a dispute. On other occasions there is a beneficiary who would benefit from receiving more inheritance than what has been left to them, these types of claims are called Family Provision Claims.

The following people are eligible to make claim:

(1)    the spouse of the deceased person at the time of the deceased person’s death;

(2)    a de facto relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death;

(3)    a child of the deceased person;

(4)    a former spouse of the deceased person;

(5)    a person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person and who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member;

(6)    a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.

What will the Court look at when determining my claim?

  • the relationship between the you and the deceased person;
  • any obligations or responsibilities owed by the deceased person to you;
  • the value and location of the deceased person’s estate;
  • your financial circumstances, including your current and future financial needs
  • whether you happen to be financially supported by another person or not;
  • whether you have any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities;
  • Your age;
  • any contribution made you made to increase the value of the estate;
  • whether the deceased person has already provided for you during their lifetime or from the estate;
  • whether the deceased person provided maintenance, support or assistance to you;
  • whether any other person is responsible for supporting you;
  • Your character;
  • any applicable customary law if the deceased was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
  • any other claims on the estate;
  • any other matter that may be considered as relevant by the Judge.

Are you thinking about contesting a will? Contact Wilding & Co Lawyers, will dispute lawyers Sydney, based in Balmain and the Sydney CBD, for assistance on 02 9701 0042.

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