Contested Wills and Estate Litigation
With today's complex family structures, that can often include 2nd or 3rd marriages and same-sex relationships, there is even greater potential for someone to feel that they have been unfairly treated by a family member or relative in their Will.
In some cases, if the person genuinely feels mistreated and they are deemed to be eligible, they may be able to make a claim against the Will (or "contest" the Will).
There are two basic categories of claims against an estate. An individual can make a claim based on:
1. The validity of the Will; and
2. The inadequacy of the provision granted to them in the Will.
Most importantly, not everyone is eligible to make a claim against a Will. Strict rules govern who is eligible and a person needs to meet certain criteria before they can even consider making a claim. There are also strict timelines that must be adhered to and it is imperative that you seek independent legal advice as early as possible if you think there is cause to dispute a Will.
At CDQ we have many years of experience in contested Wills and Estate litigation. We have successfully represented many family members who have made a claim against a Will, either against its validity or for an increase in their provision, and we have represented many executors of estates defending the Will.
Our experienced team of lawyers understand the complexity of legislation in this field and have a thorough understanding of the Succession Act and its application. We can provide practical and pragmatic advice as to the eligibility of someone to contest a Will, as well as the likelihood of a claim's success and the most likely outcome.
Estate litigation can be a costly and time-consuming exercise so in most instances we work with the parties involved in a Will dispute to negotiate and resolve the claim, without the need to take the matter to Court. In situations when a suitable resolution cannot be reached however, our lawyers have the skills, strength and tenacity required to successfully represent you in Court.
For more information on contesting a Will, contact our experienced Wills & Estates team at CDQ today on 02 8566 2400.