Wills and Estate Services

Contesting and Defending a Will

Contesting a Will
Losing a loved one is a difficult and often heart-wrenching experience. Having to discover that the assets of the estate are not distributed as previously thought or not having the deceased’s wishes properly carried out can make this an even more difficult and traumatic time.

Here at Biz Lawyers & Advisory, we have experienced dispute lawyers who can guide you through every step of the way. If you feel like you have been unfairly left out of a Will or haven’t been left enough, there are several avenues that you can undertake in contesting a Will. Several reasons that will entitle you to challenge a legal Will include inadequate provision, lack of the Will-maker’s mental capacity, undue influence and breach of trust by the executor.

It is important to start as soon as you can in contesting a Will. In NSW, you have 12 months from the date of the deceased’s death to challenge a Will. If your claim is made late, there may be little to no estate left to claim against once distribution of assets has occurred.

Defending a Will
Losing a loved one is a difficult and often heart-wrenching experience. Having to discover that the assets of the estate are not distributed as previously thought or not having the deceased’s wishes properly carried out can make this an even more difficult and traumatic time.

Conversely, if you are an executor of the Will who has been challenged by the deceased’s beneficiaries, you will find that having to defend a Will can often be a complex process to navigate without proper legal advice.

Generally, the only person entitled to defend a Will belongs to that of the Executor. When defending a Will, the court will consider the contested assertion and look to all available evidence that bears testament to factors such as the mental capacity of the Will-maker and the conduct of family members or carers. It is thus highly recommended that advice be sought from an experienced lawyer in such a situation as this cost is typically covered by the deceased’s estate.

  • Lack of capacity: If you believe that the Will-maker lacked metal capacity (i.e. impaired by old age, illness etc) at the time he/she made the latest version of the Will, you may be able to contest the Will if you were named as a beneficiary of a previous Will.
  • Undue Influence: Similar to the above, if you believe that the deceased was threatened or pressured into signing or altering the Will in a manner that disadvantages your standing in the Will, you may be able to dispute the Will.
  • Breach of trust: Where the executor of the Will is believed to have failed in acting properly in disbursing the assets in accordance to the Will, you may apply to have him/her removed by the court.

Here at Biz Lawyers & Advisory, we are equipped with the experience and knowledge in guiding you through the difficulties you are likely to face in contesting, administering or defending a Will. Drop us a call today so we can tailor our legal services to your requirements and offer you competitive pricing solutions.

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