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Will Dispute Lawyers Sydney

Who can contest a Will?

An Eligible person who may apply to the Court for a family provision order in respect of the deceased’s estate includes:

  • a person who was the wife or husband of the deceased person at the time of the deceased’s death,
  • a person with whom the deceased person was living in a de facto relationship at the time of the deceased’s death,
  • a child of the deceased person,
  • a former spouse of the deceased person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased,
  • a grandchild of the deceased who was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of the deceased person
  • a person living in a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death.

What if I am not eligible?

You have no right to contest a Will if you are not an ‘eligible person’. However there may be other ways for other beneficiaries to seek a fair result or prove the Will is invalid. Call Turner Freeman Lawyers on 13 43 63 to arrange an obligation free discussion.

How to contest a Will?

If you have been left out of a Will or received an unfair share of the Estate in the Will you may contest, challenge or dispute the Will. You can contest a Will by either challenging the validity of the Will or contesting the amount of money you have been left under the Will.

Reasons for contesting a Will:

Disputes about the validity of Wills or entitlements under Wills arise in a number of circumstances.

On some occasions disappointed beneficiaries (or other persons including the executor named in the Will) approach the Court in respect of the validity of the Will. The circumstances might include:

  • Where there are two Wills made close together.
  • Where there is a doubt about whether the executor has actually executed the Will.
  • Where there is a degree of doubt about whether the testator/ had the mental capacity to make the Will which is the subject of the dispute. This includes cases when the deceased person’s Will was created with undue influence from another person/s.

What if there is no Will? Can I still contest?

If a person dies passes away without a valid Will, the person is deemed to have passed away ‘intestate.’ The estate is then distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy in force as at the date of the deceased’s death.

These rules operate without any regard to what the deceased person’s wishes were. The beneficiaries of the deceased estate depend on whether the deceased was married, in a de facto relationship or had children at the date of his/her passing.

Family Provision claims

The law recognises that on occasions persons who would ordinarily be a beneficiary under a Will or recipient and recipients of the property of the deceased testator may either not be provided for or may have received inadequate provision. In these circumstances, a family provision claim may be made for adequate provision under the Family Provision Act of New South Wales.

The Succession Act 2006 NSW at Section 57 defines the eligible persons who may make an application to the Court for a Family Provision Claim are:

  • A person who was the wife or husband of the deceased person at the time of the deceased person’s death.
  • A person of whom the deceased person was a de facto partner at the time of the deceased’s death
  • A child of the deceased person
  • A former spouse of the deceased person
  • A person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person
  • Who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member
  • A person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death

What are the time limits for contesting a Will?

There are strict time limits for disputing or contesting a Will which is referred to as making a claim. For a death that occurred on or after 1 March 2009 you have a year from the death for contesting wills or estate disputes.

In some circumstances you can get the time limits extended e.g. If you did not know the person had died, you were not aware you had to make the claim within the time limit or you have been threatened in relationship to the Will. It is very important you seek legal advice as the timing issues can be critical.

How long will the process take?

In our experience, most of the claims we manage can be resolved within six to eighteen months of the claim starting. If we are required to commence court proceedings, this can add an additional six to twelve months to this time frame.

98% of the Will disputes that Turner Freeman manages are settled out of court, so it is unlikely your case will end up in court proceedings.

Why choose Turner Freeman Lawyers?

Since 1952, Turner Freeman’s Will dispute lawyers have been fighting to protect the rights of individuals and to make sure they get the compensation they deserve. Our Will dispute lawyers in Sydney have extensive experience working with the extremely complex areas of Wills and estate law, particularly Will dispute law, and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive a successful outcome.

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