Published 13 Apr 2016
The decision to contest a will shouldn't be taken lightly; the process can sometimes be long, complex and create disharmony among the deceased's beneficiaries.
However, you may feel other options are limited and pursuing an inheritance dispute is the only way to achieve a fair outcome. If you're considering getting in touch with a contesting wills lawyer in NSW, here are a few of the benefits that you could experience from launching a claim.
1. Prevent the estate from falling into the wrong hands
There are many circumstances where you may question whether the deceased's final wishes are being followed. For example, the will could be a forgery or perhaps the testator was coerced into signing the document against their best interests.
In some cases, the person who passed away may have lacked the mental capacity to produce a legitimate will. Whatever the reasons, challenging the will could be an unfortunate but necessary step to ensure your loved one's estate is distributed according to their wishes.
2. Ensure dependants are adequately provided for
Whether it's a child under the age of 18, relatives with mental disabilities or other types of dependent, it's important that certain people are not forgotten when a death occurs.
If a dependent has a legitimate claim to make against the estate, you may feel the need to pursue an inheritance dispute on their behalf, particularly if they lack the capabilities.
3. Gain a larger share of the estate
Loved ones argue, family members become estranged and people can lose touch with even their closest relatives and friends. It can therefore be upsetting if you've been left out of a will or received less from the estate than you were expecting, especially when you've made an effort to mend burnt bridges.
Family provision claims enable you to seek money or assets from the testator's estate as long as you are an eligible person under the Succession Act 2006 (NSW). This includes spouses, de-facto partners, former spouses, children and dependents, among others.
Speaking with a no-win, no-fee lawyer
These are just three of the benefits of contesting a will, but there could be others that apply to your unique circumstances. As such, you should consider discussing your case with a no-win, no-fees lawyer to evaluate the merits of challenging the estate.
Gerard Malouf & Partners provide a range of inheritance dispute services, including family provision claims, intestacy contestations and probate law advice.