Estate Disputes

Contesting an Estate

Making a Will is the willmakers  way of having a say in the way their assets are split amongst family and friends when they have died. Disputes involving deceased estates arise for various reasons. Resolving such disputes may result in the terms of a Will or the statutory distribution of an intestate estate being altered through mediation, negotiation and agreement, or by Court order.

If a family member believes that they have not adequately been taken care off in the will they may be entitled to challenge the will.  To be entitled to challenge the will you must prove one of the following:

  • The Willmaker did have the capacity to sign the Will at the time the will was made
  • The Will was made under the strong influence of another person
  • You were within the category and a dependent person on the deceased and therefore have not been adequately provided for in the Will (ie. an eligible person)

Generally, an eligible person includes a spouse, former spouse, de facto partner or child of the deceased or certain individuals in a close personal relationship with the deceased or who were dependent on the deceased at the time of his or her death.

Defending a contested Estate

If you are an executor of a will you may need to defend a will that is being challenged on the above grounds.

Contesting and/or defending a will is often time consuming and challenging and you will require expert legal advice to help you navigate the law.

If you need any assistance contact one of our lawyers at sjl@sjl.com.au or call 03 9613 6555 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert legal advice.