3 misconceptions about contesting a will

Published 02 Apr 2015

Contesting a will at any stage of your life is something that needs serious consideration. There are many factors that can influence the result of a case, and your own grief might stand in the way of putting a case together.

It is important to remember that the avenues for contesting a will are always open and a lawyer can help you pinpoint what the best approach is. However, many people don’t carry out their intentions because of some preconceived notion that they won’t win.

As such, here are three of the most common misconceptions and the actual answers.

1) I’m not a relative therefore I can’t and won’t win

Many people believe that if they aren’t married or related to the deceased then they can’t contest the will or even win the case if it went that far.

However, under the NSW Succession Act 2006, there are provisions for certain people who fall into this category.

Those individuals who the deceased person was in a de facto relationship at the time of their death can contest a will. As well as people who were in a close relationship or were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased.

Of course, you’d have to prove that the relationship was genuine, but it is possible to contest their last will and testament.

2) I only knew about the death after two years

If you only find about a person’s death two years after the fact, you could come to the conclusion that it’s no longer possible to contest their will. However, this is quite the contrary.

Although the Act illustrates that any application has to be made within 12 months, the person can ask the court to have the period extended. There would have to be extraordinary circumstances and the only party that can grant this extension is the Court.

In this situation, it would help to have a contesting wills lawyer available for direction and legal assistance.

3) The costs are too high even if I win

For some people, the thought of lawyers and courts just brings dollar signs to their mind. In some cases, this prospect can even put some off contesting the will at all.

However, it is vital to know that if your application is successful, the costs are paid out of the estate. Even though the court can order the payments as it sees appropriate, the bulk of the winning legal fees will be covered by the deceased’s estate.

For more information about contesting wills in NSW, contact our expert team of lawyers today.

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