Contesting a Will

Contesting a Will

A Will is a legal document which embodies the testamentary intentions of a deceased person. A Will identifies those persons/organisations/charities whom they wish to benefit from their Estate and in what proportion. On occasion however, a family member, a dependant or other closely related person may be excluded from the Will. The Succession Act empowers the Court to make provision for a person who has been excluded or otherwise not left an adequate provision in the Will.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO CONTEST A WILL?

The Succession Act defines who is an eligible person. It includes:

  • The wife or husband of the Deceased at the time of their death
  • A person with whom the Deceased was living in a de facto relationship the time of their death.
  • A child of the Deceased or a child for whom the Deceased had parental responsibility for.
  • A former spouse
  • A person who was dependent upon the Deceased or a grandchild of the Deceased who was at the time of death or any other time a member of the household of the Deceased.
  • A person living in a close and personal relationship with the Deceased at the time of their death.

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO CONTEST A WILL?

A person has one year from the date of death to bring a Family Provision Claim, otherwise they would be considered out of time and would thereafter require the leave of the Court to bring an application.

DID YOU RECEIVE ALL YOU WERE ENTITLED TO IN YOUR WILL?

Once eligibility has been established the Court will consider whether adequate provision has been made for that person. In addressing this enquiry the Court considers a number of factors such as the nature and duration of that person’s relationship with the Deceased, that person’s means and needs, any financial or non-financial domestic or caring contributions made by that person, the size of the Estate, the obligations of the Deceased towards that party or beneficiaries, the age of that party, the character and conduct of that party before and after the death of the Deceased and any other matters considered relevant by the court.

ARE YOU ENTITLED TO A PROVISION EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE NOT IN THE WILL?

If the Court’s enquiry is answered affirmatively to the enquiries referred to above the Court will then consider what provision should be made for the that person.

WHY SHOULD BRYDENS LAWYERS ASSIST YOU CONTESTING A WILL?

Brydens Lawyers are the experts in respect to contesting a Will. Brydens Lawyers will provide comprehensive advice and guide you through the process for the best possible outcome in the most cost-effective manner.

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