ESTATE LAW

Deceased Estate Claims -

If you feel you have been unfairly left out of a Will, or you have had a claim made against the estate as executor, it is crucial to obtain legal advice.

 

There are different types of disputes, listed below:

Disputes Based on Validity of the Will

Estates are often challenged by people who believe there is reason to doubt the validity of the Will. Specific concerns may include:

• doubts about the deceased’s mental capacity at the time they made the Will;

• doubts about whether the Will was signed and witnessed properly;

• doubts about whether the deceased understood the effect of the Will;

• indications that the parts of the Will have been changed after the deceased signed it;

• indications that the Will intended to be relied upon is not the last Will of the deceased; or

• the Will is unclear and/or cannot be understood.

Where such concerns arise, it is necessary for the Supreme Court of NSW to determine the validity of the Will.

Adequacy of Provision to Family Members

Estate disputes can also arise where the deceased did not make adequate provision in their Will for a particular person. An application for further and better provision from the estate of a deceased, known as a Family Provision Application, can be made to the Supreme Court of NSW. Those eligible to make an application are:

• spouses of the deceased (including de facto spouses and dependent former spouses);

• children of the deceased (including stepchildren and adopted children); and

• dependents who were wholly or substantially maintained or supported by the deceased (including grandchildren, parents of the deceased,

members of the deceased’s household and the parent of the deceased’s surviving children who are under the age of 18).

Whatever the origin of the dispute, our Lawyers will make an assessment about the likelihood of a dispute being successful. Often, disputes can be resolved quickly and cost effectively by negotiation. If that isn’t possible, the dispute can be taken to Court.

 

If you have a concern in relation to an estate or are considering disputing an estate, you should Contact Us as soon as possible, as time limits do apply.