Contesting A Will That’s Not Up-to-Date In NSW
My grandmother has died without leaving an up-to-date Will. She has left the bulk of her Estate to my father and his brother. My father was estranged from her and had not seen her for many years. I have lived and taken care of her for the past 5 years, but haven’t been left anything. Would I be able to Contest the amount left to my father?
Yes, you would be able to contest your grandmother’s Will.
Under the Succession Act certain groups of people are able to contest a Will and this type of Will contest is commonly referred to as a family provision claim.
The groups people able to contest a Will include spouses and de facto partners, ex spouses and ex de facto partners and children. There are two other groups of people eligible to contest a Will and you may fall into both of these groups. They are:
(a) A person who was, at any time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased and who is a grandchild of the deceased or a member of the deceased’s household at any time; and
(b) A person who was living in a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of their death. A close personal relationship means a relationship (other than a marriage or de facto relationship) between two adults, whether or not related by family, who are living together, with one or both of them providing domestic support and personal care to the other.
After confirming that you are an eligible person to make a claim on your grandmother’s Estate, the next step is to determine whether your grandmother has made adequate provision for your proper maintenance, education and advancement in her Will.
The Court will consider a number of matters when deciding whether your grandmother has made adequate provision for you in her Will including:
(a) The relationship between your grandmother and yourself;
(b) The nature and extent of any obligations or responsibilities owed to you by your grandmother;
(c) The size of your grandmother’s Estate;
(d) Your financial resources (including your earning capacity) and your financial needs (present and future) as well as the financial resources and financial needs of beneficiaries named in the Will (such as your father and uncle) or any other person who is making a claim on the Estate;
(e) If you are living with another person the financial circumstances of the person you are living with;
(f) Any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities that you may suffer from as well as any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities of the beneficiaries named in the Will or any other person making a claim on the Estate;
(g) Your age;
(h) Any contribution (financial or otherwise) you made to the improvement of your grandmother’s Estate or your grandmother’s welfare for which you have not received adequate consideration;
(i) Any provision made by your grandmother to you while she was alive;
(j) Any evidence of the testamentary intentions of your grandmother, including verbal statements while she was alive about how she wanted her Estate to be dealt distributed;
(k) Whether you were being maintained, wholly or partly, by your grandmother before her death;
(l) Whether any other person is liable to support you;
(m) Your character and your conduct before and after the death of your grandmother;
(n) The conduct of any other person before or after the death of your grandmother; and
(o) Any other matter the Court considers relevant.
As you can see from the above the Court will consider and take into account your father’s estrangement from your grandmother as well as your care for her over an extended period of time. You would have a strong case to contest your grandmother’s Will.
If you need advice on Contesting a Will, including family provision claims then 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 Contesting a Will. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients.
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