Contesting Wills – The Basics You Need to Know

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!


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