Category Archives: Wills and POAs

Contesting Wills - The Basics You Need to Know

Contesting Wills – The Basics You Need to Know

Category : Wills and POAs

The death of a family member and a loved one is already a difficult reality to face, but finding out that the Will they left is highly questionable makes the situation even more complex. If you feel like there is something wrong with the Will the deceased left, you need to contest it as soon as possible. There is nothing bad about challenging a Will if you believe you have strong reasons.

To help you understand the process better, here is a little guide for you:

People Allowed to Contest a Will

In most cases, it is either the partner or the children of the deceased that contest a will. However, certain conditions are also considered. That means even if you are not a child or a partner of the deceased, you can still apply to contest the Will. You only need a family lawyer’s advice to know how you can make your challenge eligible to the court.

Conditions You Can Contest a Will

There are many reasons people feel the need to challenge the deceased’s Will. They are either unhappy with what they received, not included in the Will, or think the Will is suspiciously made. 

If you need confidence in knowing that you can contest a Will, here are the conditions that will guarantee your ability to challenge it:

  • The Will is unclear and confusing.
  • The Will excludes or leaves you out without a proper provision.
  • A mentally unstable person wrote the Will.
  • You believe the Will presented was not the latest and updated Will.
  • The Will seemed to be changed by someone else.
  • You believe the Will was written with the influence of another person.

What You Need to Know About Contesting a Will in Australia

Before going to the court to contest a Will, you need to know that the law for challenging Wills is different for every state of Australia. Ask for legal advice early on to understand all the applicable state laws to your case or if you indeed have a case to fight for.

The Application

Here is how to proceed with your contesting application:

  • Make sure you are filing in the court of the state where the deceased resided and had assets.
  • Check the specified timeframe according to your state law. They will vary from three months to a year after the person’s death.
  • You can submit your application for a contest if it is within the allowed timeframe.

The Importance of Probate

Probate refers to the judicial process where the court validates the Will of the deceased and claims that it is the true last statement of the deceased. It plays a special role in whether you can challenge the Will or wait for the right time.

In cases where you want to contest the Will because you are not happy with what you received, you need the court to validate or grant the probate first before you are allowed to challenge it.

If you believe that someone else influenced the deceased in creating their Will, then you need to contest it before probate or validation is granted.

The condition differs for each scenario and type of appeal, and you need to consult your lawyer to know what you need to do and when.

The Provision Claim

The provision claim is similar to contesting a Will. It is demanding for financial provision from the estate if you are left out of the Will. In case you are left with a financial provision, but you feel like it is not enough, you can also claim for further financial support.

Here is the information you should provide when seeking for further provision:

  • Your age and your general behaviour towards the deceased
  • The nature of you and the deceased’s relationship
  • How long you knew each other
  • The responsibility the deceased have towards you
  • How much you earn and your financial needs
  • Any contributions you have made towards the deceased’s welfare and estate

Conclusion

Contesting a will can be nerve-wracking and confusing, but if you know that you have the right to do so, you should keep going. Talk to a trusted family lawyer to help you deal with all these overwhelming legal matters. They can even help you navigate the case properly to get the result you desire. If you need wills and estate lawyers in Ipswich to help you contest a will, we are here to help. At Springfield Legals, we are dedicated to providing tailored solutions to meet your unique needs and challenges!


The importance of a Power of Attorney

Category : Wills and POAs

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document giving the executor the power to act on behalf of your wishes. It gives them legal authority to move assets, allocate possessions and be present when the principal can’t. The document can either give broad or limited legal authority based on your circumstances and wishes. It is often used when the principal becomes ill or is unable to sign important documents.

What is the Difference between a Broad and a Limited POA?

A broad POA allows the agent acting on behalf of the principal to deal with all matters including bank accounts, selling of assets, allocation of belongs and so forth. A limited POA only allows the agent power to complete specific requirements such as dealing with bank accounts and can be limited to a certain period of time.

How does a Power of Attorney Work?

When completing a Power of Attorney, you need to make sure you use the right type of document as requirements can change depending on your state. To ensure you use the right document, speak to a lawyer who specialises in family law. Within the document, you appoint someone to look after your affairs and define their responsibilities, duties and limitations. When choosing an agent, be sure to choose wisely as they will have a large responsibility.

How to write a Valid POA

Although detail may differ, your Power of Attorney should be completed in the following manner:

  • Put it in writing – This will avoid arguments in the future
  • Use the correct format – There are a variety of POA you can write with different powers. Make sure to fill all the requirements of your state with the POA that best suits your needs and circumstances.
  • Identify the Agent – Be sure to clearly define your agent and their authority
  • Delegate powers – Whether the POA is broad or limited, wishes must be clearly specified
  • Make it Legal and Binding – The POA must be signed and have 2 witnesses
  • Record it – An essential part of ensuring the document is actionable in the future
  • File it – Make sure the document is kept in a safe space with your lawyer for implementation

Writing a Will and ensuring it is actionable with a Power of Attorney can be a difficult and confusing task. Speaking with a lawyer in your state will make sure the document covers all necessary aspects and is actionable when you pass away.

In need of an lawyer in Brisbane? Speak with our experienced family law experts to get yours started today.


Importance of a will

When should you update your will, and why?

Category : Wills and POAs

When it comes to planning for the future, the last thing most people think about is a Will. If you travel or go overseas, you will be required to write a Will in case you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate your wishes. That being said, a Will is important even when you’re not travelling.

What is a Will?

A valid Will is a written document, signed with your name, witnessed by 2 people and also signed by them. This document is then upheld in court which can be upheld by a grant of probate. They ensure your assets are properly managed and distributed after you die.

What is in a Will?

A document that outlines your beneficiaries (the people you want to receive your things when you die) and what exactly they receive. This incorporates property and possessions including your house, car, investment properties, money, savings, furniture, jewellery and so on.

When should I update my Will?

  • Someone in the Will dies
  • If someone else needs to be included in the Will due to marriage, child birth, change in lawyer
  • Divorce or separation from your partner specified in the Will
  • Change in income, large amount of savings acquired, purchased an investment property or large ticket item like a car
  • You change your mind about who receives certain items
  • Your personal information changes such as home address
  • If dependants come of age. They’ll no longer require a guardian so their circumstances change
  • The health of you or a loved one changes and a Power of Attorney becomes essential

With all these factors in play, it may seem like you need to update your Will every 6 months. We recommend waiting 2-3 years before doing a major update to you Will. This allows for careful consideration of assets, dependents and beneficiaries. If there is a large shift major circumstances such as births, deaths or your health, a final check and Power of Attorney is recommended,

How can I make sure my Will is upheld?

Once you pass away, making sure a will is properly followed can become a tedious and difficult task. Within your Will, you can allocate an executor such as your spouse, child, friend or solicitor to handle the affairs written. First, make sure this person agrees to be your executor as it is a major responsibility. A Power of Attorney also becomes important to ensure the details are carried out.

If you would like to more about a Power of Attorney | Read our article on the Importance of a Power of Attorney.

If you need legal advice regarding family, commercial, property or criminal contact the team here at Springfield Legal. We have been helping locals since 1999.


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