Tips For Contesting A Will In Australia
What do you do if you are displeased with the division of assets in a will? You don’t just have to bite your tongue and do nothing, there are many avenues available if you if you wish to contest a will in Australia. Losing a family member or a friend is a very challenging time, but it can be even more difficult if the person’s will hasn’t been divided up correctly.
Here are some tips for contesting a will in Australia.
Main Reasons to Contest a Will
In general, there are 2 main reasons to contest a will. The first being that you believe the testator was not of sound mind when they created the document, meaning they may have been coerced into drawing up a will which doesn’t reflect their true intentions. For this reason, you are claiming that the document is invalid and shouldn’t be recognised as a legitimate article. The second reason you may contest a will is nothing to do with its validity, but to do with its sufficiency. A person may feel that they haven’t been properly provided for in a will, so they’ll challenge how the person’s assets have been divided between the beneficiaries.
Restricted Class of Persons
If you are contesting a will in NSW or any other state in Australia, the court will only entertain your request if you are a certain character, meaning you must have some sort of standing or relationship with the deceased. If you feel aggrieved by the distribution of assets, the court will take this into account, they’ll also consider your financial situation and the size of the assets which have been left for dispersal amongst the recipients.
- Current or previous spouse of the deceased.
- Any children or kids who were treated as so by the deceased.
- Any person who was being maintained just before the person departed.
- Anyone who lived with the deceased or in their home for over 2 years before they passed away.
Anyone Can Contest
Anyone can still contest a will if they believe that the testator wasn’t of sound mind when they had the document drawn up. If unjustified influence was exerted on the testator, or they weren’t mentally stable, you can contest the validity of a will.
Communicate with Family
You should seek professional advice from a legal representative to gather more information about contesting a will. It is important to keep open lines of communication, there is no need to fall out with family members or friends over the issue. It would be better if all parties involved could settle their differences without having to go to court.
The information provided above is to help you become more aware of some of the processes involved in contesting a will, it is vitally important to contact a legal representative if you feel like you’ve been unfairly left out of a will, or the testator wasn’t of sound mind when they drew up the papers. A solicitor will be able to provide you with additional support and guidance on the matter.