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Contesting a Will

The death of a family member or loved one is an emotionally challenging time, especially if you feel you have been unfairly provided for in a Will or not provided for at all.

Legal grounds to challenge a Will

The death of a family member or loved one is an emotionally challenging time, especially if you feel you have been unfairly provided for in a Will or not provided for at all.

According to the law, the validity of a Will can be challenged after a person dies if:

  • They did not have the capacity to make a Will at the time they signed it
  • They made the Will under the influence of others
  • The claimant believes they're entitled to more from the deceased's estate than they received.

Although the law recognises a person's right to choose who will receive his or her property and possessions, there are often sound reasons why a person may choose to contest a Will.

If you are considering contesting a Will, there are several types of claims you need to know about.

Learn more about the different types of claims that can be used to contest a Will.

Contact our team today

It's essential that you obtain prompt legal advice about Will disputes and estate cases as there are strict timeframes governing when you can make a claim.Whether you believe you've been unfairly provided for, received an unexpectedly small inheritance or have been left out of a Will altogether, contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation about whether you have legal grounds for financial compensation.

What to know about Wills

If you're aged 18 or over, having a valid Will is the best way to ensure that once you pass away, your family members and loved ones will be adequately provided for and the chances of family squabbles about your estate will be reduced.

A Will is much more than a document stating who will receive your belongings and assets after you die; it's a valuable form of personal security that protects those nearest and dearest to you.

Assets not covered by a Will

Only assets owned exclusively by you are covered by a Will.

Examples of assets not covered by a Will include:

  • Assets held by a superannuation fund, which generally go to a dependant spouse or children

  • Assets owned by discretionary trusts, which do not become part of your estate as they remain the property of the trust

  • Proceeds from a life insurance policy, which are paid directly to the beneficiary nominated by the insured person, and do not form part of the deceased's estate.

  • Assets owned by unit trusts or companies that are controlled by you, although the shares or units of such trusts and companies will be part of your estate.

Many of the assets that constitute an estate can be contested in a Will dispute so it's important to get the right legal advice when preparing your Will to avoid any dispute or confusion between your beneficiaries.

Understanding Powers of Attorney vs Enduring Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are legal documents that let you appoint someone to manage your affairs on your behalf. The main difference between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney is that an Enduring Power of Attorney still has effect if, or when, you lose mental capacity.

Whether appointing someone as your Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, you can specify:

  • When the appointment is to operate
  • Whether they have limited or unrestricted powers
  • In the instance that you choose several Powers of Attorney, whether they must act jointly or whether they can independently exercise their powers.

We recommend you appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney to conduct your financial and legal affairs in the event that you:

  • Suffer from unsoundness of mind, a mental illness or other misadventure, which may lead to you losing your mental capacity
  • Are not up to physically managing your own affairs.

Although it's not fun to picture a scenario where you won't be able to make your own decisions, it pays to appoint either a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney when making a Will.

Fees

We're able to offer a No Win - No Fee* cost agreement in most cases related to Will disputes. No Win - No Fee means that you do not pay any of our legal fees upfront – you only have to pay us an agreed fee if we're successful in obtaining for you some of the estate you are entitled to.

How we help you with Wills

We're experts in handling Will and estate cases, and will help ensure your property and possessions are distributed according to your specific wishes.

We have helped clients create and contest Wills for many years, and our knowledge and experience in this area ensures the process is as quick and stress-free as possible for you.

By working with us we can:

  • Make sure your Will is valid

  • Assess the size and scope of your estate

  • Assist with making or managing any type of Will dispute

  • Negotiate your best possible outcome

  • Take away the stress and worry that comes with making or contesting Wills.

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More Information

Contact our team today

It's essential that you obtain prompt legal advice about Will disputes and estate cases as there are strict timeframes governing when you can make a claim.Whether you believe you've been unfairly provided for, received an unexpectedly small inheritance or have been left out of a Will altogether, contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation about whether you have legal grounds for financial compensation.

Call us on 1800 444 141