You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

We are continuing to serve clients during the COVID-19 pandemic More Info.

Wills

It is the right of those who have been included in a will to be able to challenge a Will if there are doubts about its integrity and validity.

The right to challenge a Will is very different to contesting the contents of a Will. Instead of focusing on how a deceased’s estate is distributed, the entire validity of the Will and the circumstances in which it was prepared is questioned.

There are a number of different circumstances as to why someone may feel there is reason to challenge a Will.

  • Mental capacity

The potential deceased mental capacity at the time of making the Will is an important factor in determining its validity. A person may challenge a Will if the deceased did not have the necessary mental capacity to properly understand the meaning and effect of the Will. This may happen in circumstances of illness such as the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, or circumstances of mental impairment brought on by a particular disability.

  • Influence of another person

There may also be reason to challenge a Will if it was prepared under the improper or undue influence of another person. For example, any beneficiary from a relative, friend, business associate or neighbour may have pressured the deceased to prepare the will and sign it. In such situations the Will would not have been drafted under the free will of the deceased.

If no Will was left, laws made by the Government known as ‘rules of intestacy’ are used to decide how a deceased person’s estate should be distributed. This formula may not be fair in your circumstances.

If you want to challenge a Will, we strongly recommend that you seek prompt legal advice to ensure that your entitlements are fully protected as time limits apply.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Estate Planning
Bob Hawke’s daughter challenges will for larger piece of his estate

Just two months after former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke passed away, it has been revealed his daughter is preparing to sue his second wife over her share of the will. According to media reports this week, Mr Hawke left each of his children $750,000 through his will. But it is also alleged he left the rest of his estate to his second wife. Now, Mr Hawke’s daughter is gearing up for a legal battle to claim a share of her father’s estate. While everyone has a right to make a will leaving their estate to whomever they chose, wills may be challenged once a person has passed away. This legal option is made available generally to family members to ensure that those in need of...

Gettyimages 72381782 Resized Blog
Estate Planning
Avoiding 'Cat Fights' in Estate Litigation

With Karl Lagerfeld’s cat set to inherit a fortune, we are reminded of the need to be cautious to avoid “cat fights” in estate litigation. When the news of Karl Lagerfeld’s death broke, thoughts soon turned to the artistic designer’s beloved cat, Choupette. Choupette is said to have two personal maids, be fed from silver dishes and enjoy a luxurious grooming regime. It comes with no surprise that Lagerfeld described Choupette as a "rich girl" and "heiress" in interviews. While the contents of Lagerfeld’s Will has not yet been revealed to the public, Vogue estimates that the estate is worth over $380 million. It has been rumored for a number of years that Choupette is set to...

Rich Cat Resized For Blog
Estate Planning
Do you need Testamentary Discretionary Trusts? The what, why, who, how

What is the best way to provide for your partner, spouse, children or loved ones when you die? The answer may be a Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT). TDTs can offer significant advantages for beneficiaries and can last for generations. Trusts are a structure for management and distribution of assets. There are four main roles in a trust, including the: A Testamentary Discretionary Trust is a trust set up by your Will. TDTs are a valuable estate planning tool used to maximise flexibility, protect beneficiaries and minimise tax implications. They are especially useful where you have a vulnerable beneficiary who has a disability, is at risk of financial stressors such as a family...

Signing Contractblog

We're here to help. Make an enquiry now.

If you have a question, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and our Wills team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Call us on 1800 444 141