Our lawyers are experts in will disputes. If you have been left out of a will and believe you are eligible to receive a share of the deceased person’s assets, our lawyers are here to help you through the complex and often distressing process of disputing a will.
Most people who possess assets at the time of their death will have executed a testamentary document (a will) setting out their wishes for how those assets are to be distributed.
In some cases, people who have been left out of a will or who believe they should have received a bigger share of a deceased’s assets, may be entitled to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate under the Family Provision Act 1982 (NSW). Similar legislation exists in other states.
The legislation specifies categories of people who are “eligible” to bring a claim of this type, including a wife or former wife, husband or de-facto partner, a child or other person who was wholly or partly dependent upon the deceased person.
Some common questions about disputing an estate:
Am I eligible to bring a claim against an estate?
In order to succeed in an action the claimant must not only satisfy the court that they are an “eligible” person, but also that there is some reason or sufficient need to persuade the court that the deceased’s will should be altered to provide them with a greater financial benefit. They must also demonstrate that there is some moral obligation for the deceased to provide for them.
Why do I need a lawyer for a will dispute?
Contested will applications are complex and are often enormously stressful for the parties involved. It is worth getting expert advice to ensure that any claim that is brought or defended, is dealt with in a professional and cost-effective manner.
Time limits do apply for the bringing of contested will applications and it is important that you seek advice as soon as possible to ensure that assets are not distributed before the executor has been notified of your claim.
our team will be able to assist you with contesting or defending a will.