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Inheritance Dispute and a Contested Will

What is an Inheritance Dispute?

When people talk about an Inheritance Dispute, they are generally talking about a family provision claim under the New South Wales Succession Act. Under the Succession Act eligible people are able to make a family provision claim if they believe that they have been unfairly treated in a Will.

Eligible people to make a family provision claim include spouses, ex-spouses, de facto partners, children, grandchildren if they were dependent on the deceased and other people who a member of the deceased’s household and dependent on the deceased.

To be successful in a family provision claim it is necessary to show the Court that the deceased left you without adequate provision for your proper maintenance, education and advancement in life and that you have a financial need.

A family provision claim must be made within 12 months after the date of death of the deceased. However, it is best to act quickly if you intend to make a family provision claim, to ensure that the assets in the deceased Estate are not distributed to the beneficiaries before your claim is made.

What is a Contested Will?

A Contested Will generally refers to a challenge to the validity of the Will of the deceased. There are numerous reasons to Contest a Will including:

  • That the Will was not properly signed by the deceased in the presence of two witnesses and therefore is not a valid Will;
  • That the deceased did not have the required testamentary capacity at the time they made the Will. Testamentary capacity means that the deceased had a sound mind and memory at the time of making their Will. Testamentary capacity is often challenged when the deceased was suffering from dementia or another type of mental health issue;
  • That the deceased was subjected to undue influence by another person when they made their Will; and
  • That the Will is forged.

Contesting a Will requires evidence to be gathered from a variety of sources, including family members, friends, medical specialists, legal practitioners, witnesses to the signing of the Will and any other people who can provide evidence of the intention of the deceased in making their Will.

What is the difference between an Inheritance Dispute and a Contested Will?

The main difference between an Inheritance Dispute and a Contested Will is that, an Inheritance Dispute does not challenge whether the Will is a valid Will. Rather, an Inheritance Dispute challenges whether the deceased made adequate provision, for the eligible people in their lives.

If you need advice on an Inheritance Dispute or are considering Contesting 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 make an Inheritance Dispute or Contest a Will.  We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients.

 We offer “No Win No Fee” so call today to find out more. We are conveniently located close to public transport in Macquarie Street,  Sydney CBD.

Call Graeme Heckenberg on 9221 2779