What happens if you were financially dependent on someone and they left you out of their Will? Should you or could you challenge?

What happens if you were financially dependent on someone and they left you out of their Will? Should you or could you challenge?

If you are financially dependent on someone and they have left you out of their Will then you have the right to make a family provision claim on their Estate.

The New South Wales Succession Act (“the Act”) states that an eligible person to make a family provision claim includes:

  1. A person who was at any particular time, wholly or partly dependant on the deceased; and
  2. Was a member of the household of which the deceased was a member.

In addition, an eligible person includes a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the death of the deceased. A close personal relationship is defined as a relationship between two adults (other than a marriage or de facto relationship) who are living together where one, or each of them, provides the other with domestic support and personal care. A close personal relationship will not exist if the domestic support and personal care is provided for a fee or by a government or charitable body.

It is clear that you are an eligible person to make a claim under the Act. When deciding to challenge a Will, it helps to know that the majority of family provision claims are settled at mediation, thus avoiding the stress of a hearing in front of a Judge.

It is also important, when considering whether to challenge a Will, to remember that your legal costs in making a family provision claim are generally paid for by the Estate as long as your claim is not frivolous.

You need to speak to an expert Wills & Estates lawyer on the strength of your claim as soon as possible. The need for urgency in seeking legal advice is that, a family provision claim needs to be made within twelve months of the date of death of the deceased.

An expert Wills and Estates lawyer, will be able to talk to you about the family provision claim process, as well as providing an estimate of what would be a reasonable amount for your proper maintenance, education or advancement in life. In challenging the Will, you need to remind yourself that the obligation to provide for financial dependents after a person’s death has been acknowledged in the New South Wales Succession Act.

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 disputing or challenging a will 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.