I want to Contest A Will. Am I within the time limitation period? Do I need to wait until the Will has been executed? Do I need to take this up with the Executor or do I get Legal Representation straight away?
In New South Wales you have 12 months from the date of death of the deceased to Contest their Will.
If you are outside this timeframe it is still possible to Contest a Will, but you first need to show the Court that there was a sufficient reason for you not contesting the Will within the 12 month timeframe. To avoid this added requirement it is important to ensure that you receive legal advice as soon as possible, so that you Contest the Will in the 12 month timeframe.
You do not need to wait until the Will has been executed and the assets in the Estate distributed to the beneficiaries before you Contest a Will. It is better to Contest a Will before the assets have been distributed, to avoid having to reclaim already distributed assets from beneficiaries.
In fact, the Court has the power to make an order restraining an Executor from making a final or partial distribution of an Estate until the Challenge to the Will has been determined. As an added protection, the Executor cannot distribute the Estate until at least six months after the death of the deceased and only after publishing a notice that anybody intending to Contest the Will provide details to the Executor within 30 days.
If you want to Contest a Will you need to obtain Legal Representation as soon as possible on how to be successful in your Will Challenge. It is the Executors obligation to protect the Estate and defend claims on the Estate, so speaking to them directly will not generally assist your Will Challenge.
An expert legal review of your circumstances is necessary to ensure that you meet the requirements of the Succession Act. This includes determining whether you are an eligible person under the Act. Eligible persons include partners and ex-partners, children, siblings, grandchildren and other classes of people who were dependent on the deceased.
As well as determining whether you are an Eligible person, it is prudent to ascertain that you have not been adequately provided for in the Will as the Court will only make an order to change the Will, if it decides that adequate provision has not been made in the Will for your proper maintenance, education, or advancement in life. All of the relevant information to support Contesting a Will needs to be included in any application you make to the Court and your legal representative can gather the strongest evidence to support your claim.
If you need advice on Contesting a Will in NSW 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. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients.
Call Graeme Heckenberg at the Sydney Wills Lawyers on 9221 2779 for confidential, expert advice.