Contesting wills in New South Wales by specialist wills and estate lawyers.
Need a specialist probate and estate lawyer? Left out of a will ? Thinking of contesting or challenging a will or involved in an estate dispute? Then contact one of our specialist estate lawyers and see how we can help you on a “no win no fee basis”.
A will may be challenged or contested on a number of grounds.
A will may be found invalid because of :
- Lack of testamentary capacity , for example if at the time of making the world the deceased suffered from an illness such as dementia, alzheimer’s, mental illness or was taking medication which would have affected his/her judgement;
- Fraud, undue influence or duress, for example if the deceased was tricked into making the will, or given their age or health was placed under enormous pressure to make the question a will that he/she may not otherwise have made;
- Failure to comply with the formal legal requirements surrounding the making of the will.
If a will is found to be invalid then it may be possible to reinstate an earlier Will, or it may be found that the deceased died without any will and following which estate may need to be distributed on the basis of intestacy whereby statutory formula determines the appropriate beneficiaries.
A will may also be challenged or contested in circumstances where the deceased failed to make adequate provision (commonly referred to as a family provision claim) for such persons as;
- A wife, husband or defacto / partner of the deceased;
- A former wife or husband or defacto or partner of the deceased – even if there was a family law property settlement dividing assets during the deceased lifetime;
- A person with whom the deceased was living in a domestic relationship when he/she died;
- A child of the deceased;
- A child of a person living in a domestic relationship with the deceased;
- A grandchild if she/he ever lived in the household of the deceased;
- A person who ever lived in the household of the deceased and was dependent on them including a parent, sibling, step-child and former de-facto spouse , friend , cousin etc.
We have successfully acted for claimants in cases involving all the above categories in what are common refer to as family provision claims, so as to ensure that they have received their rightful entitlements.
We have also successfully assisted executors and estates defend proceeding in all the above categories by either totally avoiding unmeritorious claims or by minimizing the value of the claim to the estate.
If you feel that you have been left out of a will or that the deceased made inadequate provision for you in their will, the call us for a free claim assessment.
If you are an executor of an estate and may be facing a claim or challenge to a will, then give us a call to see how we can help you help you defend the claim and avoid any personal liability as an executor.
The likelihood of succeeding and winning in a contested will claim and the amount which may be awarded is dependent on many factors particular to each individual claimant, the claimants personal circumstances, the relationship between the claimant and the deceased, the size and nature of the estate , and the circumstances of the named beneficiaries and other claimants. No two cases are alike, and each claim must be assessed on its merits.
A claim / proceedings must be made in the Supreme Court of within 12 months of the date of the deceased’s death. However, if 12 months has expired from the date of death, the court can give leave / permission to proceed out of time. We have acted in successful claims which have been well out of time, including a recent case where the application was made some 16 years after the date of death.
The law relating to wills and estates can be complex and so we encourage you to take advantage of our first free consultation and free claim assessment with one of our specialist estate lawyers. Not having specialised and competent legal advice when contesting or challenging a will can be the difference between winning or losing a case and can have serious costs consequences.
If properly handled and when the Judge makes an order for provision for a claimant, or a matter is settled out of court , the estate will usually pay the claimant’s costs. But if the claimant is unsuccessful and the Judge makes no order for provision for the claimant, then the Judge may order the claimant to pay the executor’s costs of defending the proceedings. This is why we recommend that you seek advice from one of our lawyers who specialises in estate disputes including contested will cases. We will assess your case – whether you are a claimant or an executor of an estate- and advise you on the strength of your case and likely outcomes.
We have a team of specialist estate lawyers which will assure the best outcome, whether by court order or by a negotiated settlement. Our team of specialists estate lawyers have extensive experience in attending mediations which is proving very effective in negotiating out of court settlements.
THE NORTON LAW GROUP…the obvious choice in estate disputes
- Specialist Estate Lawyers
- Free no obligation initial consultation
- Free assessment of your case
- No win no fee policy
- Tailored strategy specific to your case
- Proven track record in assisting both claimants and estates