I am a friend of the deceased. Can I contest the Will?

Published 29 Nov 2018

Author: David Cossalter

When a deceased person leaves behind a Will, there could be several parties interested in contesting it. Family members or even close personal friends can claim that they are entitled to part of the estate. But as a friend of the deceased, are you an eligible person?

Unfortunately, under Section 57 of the Succession Act 2006, which lists eligible persons, friends of the deceased are not included under that designation. However, there are certain types of close personal friendships that could make a friend eligible for a claim.

Dependent of the deceased

If you were a dependent of the deceased, in whole or in part, financially or otherwise, you could be eligible to contest the Will. Proof of this dependent relationship would be necessary during court proceedings, which your legal representation can help you provide.

This type of relationship, which could also be considered a type of friendship, could be a non-familial relationship. When a person was dependent on the deceased, they will likely be entitled to receive at least a portion of the estate.

Member of the household

Similarly, if a friendship also consisted of sharing a household, this could fall into the eligible category under Section 57 of the Succession Act 2006. If a close friend was a member of the deceased's household when they died, or at any other time, the friend could be eligible.

Proof of such a relationship may be provided by bills that the parties shared or a lease. Again, a legal professional can assist you in ensuring you have the proof you need before filing for a claim and during court proceedings.

Close personal relationship

The Succession Act 2006 defines a "close personal relationship" as one that is not a marriage or a de facto relationship between two adults who may or may not be related by family, who are living together. One or each of the parties must provide the other with "domestic support and personal care." A de facto relationship means a couple is living together and are not married to each other or related by family.

If your friendship with the deceased falls into one of these categories, and you would like to contest the Will, get in touch with our lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers. We will confirm your eligibility and assist you in the entire claim process.

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