Battle of wills: Winning an estate dispute

Published 28 Jul 2016

When it comes to the legacy of a loved one, people are no doubt quick to defend the decisions of the deceased. When this plays out in relation to a deceased's will or their estate, it can lead to major estate disputes that can impact a person's health and wellbeing.

With so much on the line, those looking to contest a will need to ensure they have the right level of support with them. This is where the expertise of a Gerard Malouf and Partners' lawyer comes in handy. With their skills, experience and no win no fee guarantee you can ensure that you are not left out to dry.

Who may challenge?

When challenging a will, it is important to ensure that you are an interested party. To ensure justice and a fair decision, there are strict requirements as who can challenge a will.

Those who are eligible include:

  • The spouse of the deceased.
  • An individual who was living with the deceased in a de facto relationship.
  • The deceased's children.
  • A dependent of the deceased who was living with them.
  • A grandchild who was totally or partially dependent on the deceased.
  • Someone who was in a close personal relationship with the deceased.

What does the court take into account?

While there are a number of elements that go into a relationship with a person, when it comes to contesting a will, the court has very specific criteria.

Its main concern is that the person making a family provision claim is properly provided for when it comes to maintenance, education or advancement. It is important to note that the court only takes into consideration the conditions at the time of the hearing, not from the date of the person's death.

 Additionally, the Succession Act 2006 outlines 16 aspects that are considered by the court. Specifically, section 60(2) includes:

  • The character of the eligible person, both before and after their death.
  • The contributions made by the eligible person towards the deceased's property or welfare.

For those who are unsure about the options available when contesting a will, make sure you talk to the experts at Gerard Malouf and Partners. We know money and costs can be a major obstacle to making a family provision claim, as such, we offer a no win no fee guarantee. What this means is that instead of large upfront costs, we seek remuneration from your successful settlement.

If you would like to know more, contact a representative of Gerard Malouf and Partners.

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