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 wills 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.

Can you contest a will? 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.

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Am I eligible to make a claim for Family Provision?

  • the relationship between the applicant and the deceased person
  • any obligations or responsibilities owed by the deceased person to the applicant
  • the value and location of the deceased person’s estate
  • the financial circumstances of the applicant, including their current and future financial needs
  • whether the applicant happens to be financially supported by another person or not
  • whether the applicant has any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities
  • The age of the applicant
  • any contribution made by the applicant to increase the value of the estate
  • whether the deceased person has already provided for the applicant during their lifetime or from the estate
  • whether the deceased person provided maintenance, support or assistance to the applicant
  • whether any other person is responsible to support the applicant
  • The character of the applicant
  • 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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