Are you Contesting a Will or Challenging a Will?
The Succession Act of New South Wales allows people who believe they have not been adequately provided for to Contest a Will of the deceased. These types of claims are commonly referred to as family provision claims. To be successful in contesting a Will a number of elements need to be proven to the Court. The first test is whether, the person is an ‘eligible person’ to contest the Will. Eligible persons includes:- current and former spouses, current and former de facto partners, children as well as people who were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased.
However, being considered an eligible person to contest a Will does not necessarily mean that the challenge will be successful. In a recent case in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Debbie Anne Oates v Hubertus Peter Breuer, the husband of the deceased contested his wife’s Will, claiming that he had been left without adequate provision. His wife’s Will left a sum of $265,000 to her sister, other small gifts to family members and the remainder of her Estate to her husband and the remainder of her Estate had little monetary value. The husband, as joint tenant with the deceased, did become the sole owner of two residential properties, which were owned by them jointly.
The Court considered the financial status of the husband finding that he had had a long career with Qantas and was now on light duties on account of a permanent work injury. The husband had superannuation worth valued over $300,000 as well as real estate valued at $1,100,000. The Court found that the husband had no significant savings in his bank account or other investments. The husband’s expenses exceeded his weekly income however he was well supplied for retirement and was anticipating retiring in four years. The husband claimed that he required money from his wife’s Estate to undertake renovations on the residential properties he had owned jointly with his wife.
After considering the asset position of the husband, the Court found that the husband was not as person in need and that he had not been left without adequate provision for his maintenance or advancement in life. The husband was unsuccessful in contesting his wife’s Will despite being an eligible person under the Succession Act.
Why you need an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer?
As the husband in the above case learnt, being an eligible person to contest a Will does not mean that your claim will be successful.
An expert Wills and Estates Lawyer, understands all the tests that need to be met to be successful in contesting a Will. An expert Wills & Estates Lawyer will ensure that your evidence addresses all these tests to make your case as strong as possible.
If you want to contest a Will or are defending a challenge to a Will, you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on how to successfully contest a Will or defend a challenge to a Will. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with client’s.
Make an appointment today to speak with Graeme Heckenberg. The first 20 minutes of the consultation are free. Here he will assess whether you have a case to proceed in contesting a Will.
Call on 02 9221 2779 or email with your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Centrally located in Macquarie Street, Sydney or at Northern Beaches Offices in Avalon