It is an extremely tough time when you lose someone that is part of your family or a close friend. However, the pain can be exacerbated if, after the will reading, you are left empty-handed or without enough provision to take care of yourself.
In this situation, you should to get in contact with a wills and estate lawyer who can get your challenge ready for Court. For some reason though, there are a number of myths about whether it is a good idea to contest a will or even whether it is legal.
To eliminate this, we have come up with the most common challenging wills myths that we hear.
1) I will have to go to Court
In NSW, only a small number of contested wills cases actually make it to Court. In many examples, it is possible to hold discussions with all the parties and come to a settlement that everyone is happy with. This is called pre-issue negotiations and is held between the estate executor and other beneficiaries.
If this process doesn’t resolve the matter than you will have to go to Court. However, there will be official mediation before the trial to give further opportunities to resolve the case.
2) I can’t challenge a will in another state
While it is true that all Australian states and territories have different laws, it is still possible to challenge a will across the border. You will have to provide your lawyer with as much detail as necessary and approach the right authorities to make your application.
An example of this would be if you lived in Queensland, but your family member died and left an estate in NSW. You would be required to take the case to the NSW Supreme Court to challenge the will.
3) It has been too long since the death
This is a very common myth and detail that everyone should be aware of. In NSW, an application to contest a will must be submitted within 12 months of the death. Although it is possible to extended this limit, it requires a good reason for the Supreme Court to allow it .
Remember that Australian states and territories have different limits so a general rule would be to investigate the possibility of a challenge as soon a possible.
For more information about lodging an inheritance case, contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.