Can I contest my aunt’s will?
Published 11 Nov 2015
Author: David Cossalter
Outside the traditional nucleus of a family, people often have a close relationship with extended family such as aunt’s and uncle’s. These individuals are often made godparents over their nieces and nephews in the event something happens to their parents.
However, what happens if it is the other way around? If your aunt died, could you make a claim for her estate if you were left out of the original will?
Initially, this answer is no. Both nieces and nephews aren’t automatically eligible to contest the will of an aunt or uncle under NSW legislation. In order to become an eligible person, they will have to prove one of two facts based on their relationship with the deceased.
If you want to seek provision for your aunt’s estate, one way to demonstrate your eligibility is proving your financial dependency on them. If at any particular time of your life you were dependent on the deceased, it is then possible to contest the will. Of course, you will need to provide evidence that this dependency occurred to succeed in a Family Provisions Claim.
This could come in the form of financial assistance, for example. If your aunt or uncle was giving you money on a regular basis and this supported your standard of living, this could prove your dependency.
Of course, in any situation like this, it is important to discuss the case with a contesting wills lawyer. These professionals often have years of experience in Family Provision Claims and can provide their expertise to ensure you have the best chance of success in Court.
2) Living arrangements
There are thousands of Australians who lived with their aunt or uncle at some point of their life. Whether it was temporary or permanent, this could be the key to make you eligible to contest their will.
It is important to note that it doesn’t have to be your aunt’s house – she only had to be a member at the same time as yourself.
Again, proving this to the Court can prove tricky. Evidence could include renting contracts or other documents that include both of your names or signatures.
Contesting the will