Will Dispute Lawyers Gold Coast
Who is able to contest a Will?
As a general rule, by law you are considered eligible to contest or challenge a Will if you fit into any of the below categories.
- spouses (current and past)
- de facto partners (current)
- children (including some stepchildren)
- anyone who is dependent on the deceased.
How do I contest a Will?
Contesting wills can be done on the basis of two options:
- You can challenge whether or not it is a valid Will.
- You can contest the amount on money that has been left to you in a Will.
Grounds to contest a Will
If there is doubt about whether or not it is a valid Will:
- If you are not a beneficiary of the current Will, but were previously a beneficiary, before the Will maker lost testamentary capacity, you may be able to challenge whether or not the current Will is valid.
- If you believe the Will maker at any time lost testamentary capacity and this has affected their ability write a valid Will that reflects their own decisions.
- If you believe the Will maker was under undue influence from an external person when they created their Will, or the Will was created under suspicious circumstances, you may be able to challenge whether or not it is a valid Will.
Contesting the amount of money you have been left:
- If beneficiaries of the deceased person believes they weren’t left enough money, assets, or adequately provided for in a Will they may be able to contest the Will.
Breach of trust:
- If the beneficiaries of a deceased estate believe that the executor of the estate has not properly performed their estate administration duties, including distributing assets and other commitments, they may be able to contest the Will.
What if the deceased did not leave a Will behind?
A person who dies with no Will is said to have died intestate according to Wills and estate law. In these circumstances the deceased estate will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of Queensland. There will be no regard given to the wishes of the deceased person.
While more difficult to challenge a Will in these circumstances, it is still possible. It is best to seek the assistance of Gold Coast estate litigation lawyers with extensive experience to assist you with your claim.
Family Provision claims
If you feel you haven’t been adequately provided for in a Will you might be able to make a family provision claim in certain circumstances. To be considered an eligible person to start a family provision claim you must be one of the following persons as stated by Section 41 of the Succession Act:
- The current or former spouse of the deceased person (this includes current de facto partners)
- A biological, adopted or step child of the deceased person
- A person who was financially dependent on the deceased
Are there time limits to contest or challenge a Will?
The legal requirements in Queensland state that you should inform the executor of the estate that you intend to challenge or contest the Will within six months of deceased person’s date of death.
If you wish to contest the validity of a Will, you need to make an application before probate has been granted by the supreme court, or it probate has not been applied for, within six months of the passing of the deceased person.
Our dedicated team of Will dispute lawyers on the Gold Coast can help you to manage your case and will ensure your case meets any required time limits.
How long does the dispute procedure take?
Most Will dispute claims are able to be finalised and award costs in six to eighteen months. For claims that progress to the court room it is likely another six to twelve months will be required.
It’s worth noting that 98% of Turner Freeman’s Will dispute cases are settled prior to court, so it’s improbable your case will end up in court.