The death of someone close is a testing time and contesting a Will can make things even more difficult. But if you believe you’re entitled to more from a deceased estate, we may be able to help.
Even though the law recognises a person's right to choose who will inherit his or her property, there are often very good reasons why a person should be contesting a Will.
Reasons for contesting a Will include:
Testator family maintenance claims
A person who has been left out of a Will, or unfairly provided for can make a claim for a larger share of a deceased person's estate.
Common examples of this include:
- Where the deceased has three children and leaves his or her estate to two children in equal shares with nothing left for the third child;
- Where the deceased makes no provision for their de facto partner (including both heterosexual and same-sex relationships);
- Where the deceased makes no provision or lesser provision for a step-child.
The type of relationship that an individual has with the deceased leading to a potential claim against the estate continues to expand from state to state.
Lack of testamentary capacity claim
A beneficiary of an earlier Will can challenge a more recent Will if the deceased person did not have the mental capacity to understand what he or she was signing.
Undue influence claim
A beneficiary of an earlier Will can challenge a more recent Will if the deceased person was 'unduly influenced' by another person to sign a Will that did not reflect that person's true wishes.
Breach of trust claim
A beneficiary under a Will or trust can apply to the court to remove an executor or trustee who fails to administer a Will or trust properly. The beneficiary can also seek compensation if they suffer financial loss as a result of the executor or trustee's wrongdoing.