Contesting a Will

The death of someone we care about is a sad and stressful time. And if anyone is unhappy about the contents of the Will, it makes an already taxing time even more fraught. 

It doesn’t matter how “tightly” a Will is drafted; any Will can be contested. However, in this state, there are strict time limits and rules around doing so.

If you’re going to contest a Will in Queensland, you have six months from the date of the person’s death to give notice of your intention to claim against an estate.

To do this, you need to give formal notice in writing to the executor or administrator of the estate. Even after giving that notice, you are required to start court proceedings within nine months of the person’s date of death.

A Will can be contested for the following reasons:

  • Doubt over the validity of the Will.
  • Concerns the person was unduly influenced when making the Will.
  • You have not been adequately provided for in the Will.

Not everyone is able to contest a Will. To do so, you must be what is called an eligible person. An eligible person is one of the following:

  • Spouse of the person who died.
  • Child of the person who died.
  • A dependent of the person who died.

A court will look at several different things when determining whether adequate provision has been made for a person in a Will, including: 

  • Whether anything you have already received is adequate for your maintenance, education, and advancement in life.
  • Competing claims of other eligible persons or beneficiaries.
  • The nature and duration of your relationship with the person who died.
  • Your financial resources and earning capacity.
  • The size of the estate.

Most disputes concerning Wills and Estates are usually resolved in mediation and do not end up in court. However, it is important to note that these kinds of claims can be messy and emotional, so it is vital you receive the right legal advice.

The Wills and Estates team at Bickell & Mackenzie can help you navigate through this time and ensure you receive what you are entitled to.

Contact our office to make an appointment with one of our Wills and Estate specialists now.

 

 

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