Published 16 Jun 2015
Author: David Cossalter
An inheritance dispute can be a lengthy and expensive process, which is why it's important to consider whether or not it's the right approach for you. Aside from the potential costs involved, a family provision claim can also create tension between loved ones on opposing sides of the conflict.
With these issues at stake, you'll want to make sure you have a good chance of winning if you decide to proceed. Unfortunately, predicting the outcome of a dispute is tough, as there are often many different factors at play.
People who can accurately weigh up what has the biggest influence on the court's decision are the most likely to enjoy success when pursuing a family provision claim.
What do the judges take into account?
The claimant must be eligible to challenge a will, so this is typically the first issue on the table when a family provision claim arises. Once this has been established, the courts will examine the relationship between the deceased and the claimant.
An estrangement could have an impact on the decision, although a claim can still be successful even when relationships had broken down prior to the testator's death. This is particularly true if the deceased was a parent and is deemed primarily responsible for the situation.
Other factors judges will consider include the level of financial dependency the claimant had on the person who died, as well as their current money situation. The courts must also need to decide if ruling in favour of the plaintiff will have an unfair impact on the inheritance of remaining beneficiaries.
How can I improve my chances of success?
You should always contact an experienced contesting wills lawyer in NSW if you want to have the best chance of winning a family provision claim. Crucially, the best legal representation will always try to give you an accurate indication of whether or not you have a good case before proceeding.
A no-win, no-fee firm carries the burden of the ongoing expenses involved in an inheritance dispute, which means they won't take on cases they don't think will succeed. This not only removes much of the financial burden on you, it provides peace of mind that your claim will be pursued diligently.
Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners for a free consultation and see if a family provision claim could provide you with a greater share of any estate entitlements.