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Will dispute lawyers Sydney

Overview

Challenging a will

Challenging a will means contesting the validity of the document. You can dispute a will based on fraud, testamentary capacity (lack of mental capacity), forgery and undue influence. The process itself is long, complicated and can involve many nuanced steps given the state you live in or the state in which the will was officiated.

New South Wales (NSW) has its own set of rules and regulations for contesting a will. Gerard Malouf and Partners have the experience and the legal fortitude to pursue a Family Provisions Claim on your behalf. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis so you can rest assured that when you begin the process, we are working in your best interest.

Process

Want to dispute a will in Sydney?

After a will has been drafted, signed and approved by the courts, it has reached probate. Challenging a will can come at any time before or after the document has been granted probate. However, there are extenuating circumstances that would invalidate the will regardless.

Some reasons you may contest or challenge a will include:

  • The will was forged.
  • The will-maker did not know nor approve of the will’s contents.
  • The will was created fraudulently.
  • The testator was coerced or threatened into changing the will.
  • The deceased lacked the mental capacity to create the will.
  • The beneficiary was left out of the will or inadequate provision.

 

The purpose of contesting a will is doing so with the hopes of receiving benefits that you feel you’re owed. Gerard Malouf & Partners can support you every step of the way – we’ve seen many cases and know NSW laws backward and forward.

To contest the will, the courts will only consider eligible persons. This does not include only immediate family members, but a loved one or someone who was caring for the deceased and feels entitled to benefits based on promises made to them and the closeness of their relationship.

Years of experience in estate disputes

Contesting a will on your own is a complicated process because of the wills estate laws NSW has in place. Family law can be especially challenging because you’re facing loved ones in a dispute during a particularly emotional time. Working toward a resolution during this time can be painful.

When a family member passes away there is a list of logistical steps you need to take to ensure their life is not only honoured but their last wishes are heard. Allow an estate law solicitor from Gerard Malouf & Partners work on the case on your behalf.

To commence a claim in NSW, you must make a case with the Supreme Court. To find out if probate has been granted, you will reach out to the NSW Supreme Court to inquire. This will tell you how far along in the process they may be.

If probate has been granted, you should file a probate caveat which will cease proceedings immediately until a dispute resolution can be reached or the court makes an order.

If a resolution in contesting a will cannot be reached then the claimant will commence court proceedings where a judge will make the final decision. The claimant in this situation is the person or party that is arguing the will is valid. Both parties will need to be prepared with an affidavit and to argue their stance.

Time limits in a family provision claim

Contesting a will and challenging a will are two different cases. Contesting refers to making a family provision claim where you feel like you’ve been left out of the will or inadequately provided for. Challenging a will means you believe the will was not made in alignment with the deceased’s wishes.

You have up to 12 months after the date of the will-maker’s death to file a family provision claim. Additionally, it is easier to file and you’ll have a better chance of receiving benefits if you file before the executor concludes estate distribution.

Once the deceased estate has been passed out, returning those assets and redistributing them is very logistically difficult.

An accredited specialist probate lawyer from Gerard Malouf & Partners will know the difference between these two proceedings and make the best decision to support your claim.

The Succession Act in NSW

Not just anyone can contest a will in NSW. The Succession Act outlines who can contest and will and who the courts will consider eligible to do so.

People who are eligible to contest a will in NSW according to the Succession Act include:

  • A spouse of the deceased at the time of their passing.
  • A child, stepchild or adopted child of the deceased.
  • A de facto or domestic partner at the time of the deceased’s death.
  • A former spouse.
  • A grandchild.
  • Someone who was wholly or partially dependent on the will-maker and at any time a member of their household.
  • Someone who was living in a close relationship with the deceased close to the time of their death.

 

If you stand outside of this list, you may have a harder time proving why you deserve part of the estate. To contest a will, however, you just need a valid reason that you feel entitled to the estate and have evidence of your relationship to the deceased. This is especially important when challenging a will’s validity.

Gerard Maloud & Partners

Gerard Malouf & Partners dispute lawyers

If you want to contest or challenge a will in the NSW, you need a dispute lawyer who knows how to support you. Gerard Malouf & Partners provision solicitors can guide you through each part of the process so you don’t miss a step. This way, you can grieve the loss of your loved one while we fight to get you the compensation you’re deserved.

Contact us for no-obligation, legal advice about your will dispute claim.

Free Resources
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Download your guide today for free and make sure that you are aware of the facts and information you need to make a will dispute claim.

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Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your claim.
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Our guide to inheritance disputes

Download your guide today for free and make sure that you are aware of the facts and information you need to make a will dispute claim.

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Our Team

Meet the Contesting Wills team

Meet some of the diverse and dynamic compensation lawyers that support our clients with their Will Dispute claims.

David Cossalter
Managing Partner
Richele Nelsen
Senior Associate
Garbis Kolokossian
Partner

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Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of our compensation experts, or make an enquiry online now.

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