3 good reasons to dispute a will

Published 12 Oct 2016

A will is more than just a document that divvies out assets, it is also a reflection on the relationship you have had with the deceased. As such, when it does not fit with the expectations you have, it is important to seek expert advice.

A will disputes lawyer can help review your claim and ascertain if you have grounds for legal work. To help, here are three common reasons to contest a will.

1. Invalid will

When a person creates a will, they must ensure that the document complies with the legislative requirements. If it is not compliant, it can be grounds to seek redress through the courts.

For starters, it must be in writing, either handwritten or typed. It must be signed by the will-maker or by another in the presence of and at the direction of the will maker. In addition, it should be:

  • signed in the presence of two witnesses;
  • signed by at least two of the witnesses who attest; and
  • signed with the intention of executing the will.

2. Undue influence

Alongside the document's requirements, a will needs to also meet a series of processional parameters. The court will look into these if they are not met.

The will being used must be the last will made by the deceased. It should also be free of undue influence.

The law states that if a person helps to draw up the will seeks to gain a great deal from it, that person might need to prove that trickery, pressure, force, fear or deceptions was not used to attain a signature.

Unfortunately, undue influence can be hard to prove without the testimony of witnesses. For those looking to make the claim, the onus is on them to provide the full details and the supporting evidence that it occurred.

3. Misinterpretation

People read and interpret things differently, it is why art and literature offer so many possibilities. However, when it comes to a will, this can have a serious impact on a number of people's' lives.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has the capacity to interpret wills made in the state. An executor or a party interested in the estate can apply to the court to help determine what the will-maker meant.

Whatever the reason, your first stop should be experience will dispute lawyers. With their sound advice and expertise of the law, they can help you understand the options you have in front of you.

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