How to apply to the Court for protection on behalf of a person who has lost capacity

How to apply to the Court for protection on behalf of a person who has lost capacity

The New South Wales Succession Act (“the Succession Act”) and associated regulations allows for an application to be made to the Court for protection of a person who has lost testamentary capacity. An order can only be made if the person who has lost capacity is alive at the time the order is made by the Court.

Under the Succession Act an application can be made to the Court for an order authorising:

  1. A Will to be made or altered, in specific terms approved by the Court, on behalf of a person who lacks testamentary capacity; or
  2. A Will or part of a Will be revoked on behalf of the person who lacks testamentary capacity.

The Court application

In order to make the application a person must first apply to the Court for leave to make the application.

The application for leave must include the following information:

  1. A statement about the nature of the application and the reasons why the application is being made;
  2. Evidence of the lack of testamentary capacity of the person for whom the order is sought;
  3. Estimates of the size and character of the Estate of the person for whom the order is sought;
  4. A draft of the proposed Will or revocation that the applicant wants approved by the Court;
  5. Evidence of the person’s wishes including any previous Wills made by them;
  6. Evidence on the likelihood of the person acquiring or regaining testamentary capacity;
  7. Evidence of any person who would be entitled to benefit if the person died without a Will (i.e. died intestate).
  8. Evidence of any person who might reasonably be expected to be included in the Will; and
  9. Evidence of any charitable gift that the person might reasonably be expected to make in their Will.

It is apparent from the above list of requirements that a large amount of evidence is required to be put before the Court before they will even consider granting leave to make an application for an order.

This is why you need to seek expert legal advice from a Wills and Estates lawyer if you wish to apply to the Court for an order. As the proceedings are heard in the Supreme Court this requires a lawyer with knowledge and proficiency in this jurisdiction who is aware of the procedural and legislative requirements to obtain a successful order.

The Court hearing of the application for leave

Once the application for leave has been made the Court will hear the application, grant leave to make the application and make the orders sought if it is satisfied on the following matters:

  1. There is reason to believe that the person is, or is reasonably likely to be, incapable of making a Will; and
  2. It is appropriate for the order to be made; and
  3. The proposed Will, alteration or revocation is one that would have been likely to have been made by the person if they had testamentary capacity; and
  4. Adequate steps have been taken to allow all persons with a legitimate interest in the application to be represented in the proceedings.

Our expert Wills and Estates lawyers have the experience you need to apply to the Court for protection of a person who has lost testamentary capacity.

At Heckenberg Lawyers we don’t take our clients’ confidence for granted: we work hard to earn it by providing an efficient, cost effective service which puts your interests first and doesn’t cut corners. We take pride in achieving repeat custom and winning clients by word of mouth recommendation.

If you need advice about a Will or an Estate matter please call 02 9221 2779 or email info@hecken.com.au to arrange an initial consultation with principal lawyer Graeme Heckenberg at our centrally located Sydney offices.

See our Will Dispute Lawyer & Contesting Wills page for more information on the Wills & Estates services we provide or contact us for advice specific to your situation.