Wills & Estates
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As with every service we offer our customers, it’s free to contact us to discuss what your options might be and how we may be able to help you.
A person who makes a Will has an obligation to consider the needs of their spouse, their children and any children of those children or any children of their spouse when they make their Will. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly in a Will or been left without adequate provision from the Will you can challenge the Will to be treated fairly.
Claims of this sort are called claims for provision and they are conducted under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act. There are strict time limits that apply to actions of this sort so you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the deceased person has passed away.
In some instances you may not know whether you have been treated fairly under the Will. You might not even know what the Will says or who the executor is or even whether there is a Will at all. In this situation it is even more important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. A lawyer can apply to the Supreme Court to prevent someone obtaining a grant of probate without you being informed of the application for the grant of probate. Taking this step gives you notice and time so you can properly build your claim for further provision from the estate.
Even if you feel you have only been treated a little unfairly it is still worth talking to a lawyer as soon as possible. It costs nothing to contact us just to have an initial discussion.
Challenging Wills on the basis of testamentary incapacity or undue influence
If you think a Will is wrong because the person who made it was led into making it or didn’t understand what they were doing you can challenge the Will itself. This is different to seeking more provision under the Will.
In Australia it is considered acceptable for people, including potential beneficiaries to point out to a will maker things that they think are important but it is not acceptable for someone to force or trick or mislead a will maker to make a will that is favourable to that person or which treats someone else unfairly when the testator does not want to unfairly treat that other person.
If you have any concern about the validity of a Will please feel free to give us a call. It costs nothing to contact us just to have an initial discussion.
Costs to challenge a Will / no win no fee
Depending on the individual circumstances of each matter we may be prepared to conduct a challenge to the validity of a Will or a claim for provision or an inheritance dispute on a no win no fee basis. In our experience, often the legal costs incurred by a person who challenges the validity of a Will or claims provision from the Will are paid from the estate of the deceased person.