When someone close to you dies, it’s always a stressful time. Sadly, an inheritance dispute can make a difficult situation even more challenging. In Australia, disputes over wills and estates are becoming increasingly common, largely because what constitutes a family is constantly changing and so diverse. This reality is bound to cause additional tension within families.
The good news is that, if you believe you have been left out of a will in error, or that your share of the estate is inadequate for your needs, we may be able to help you contest or challenge the will and obtain your fair entitlement.
However, you need to move quickly because these kinds of cases often have strict time limits.
At Monaco Compensation Lawyers, we are experts in contesting and challenging wills.
Over the past 20 years, we have finalised thousands of claims for clients who believed they were unfairly treated in a will. Our lawyers are widely known in the profession for making successful family provision claims, ranging from small inheritances to multi-million dollar disputes.
Our legal team are also highly regarded both in Australia and internationally. In 2018, we were awarded Australian Compensation Law Firm of the Year in both ACQ5 Global Awards and in CorporateINTL Global Awards. In addition, in the AI 2018 Global Excellence Awards, we won Most Outstanding Australian Law Firm.
We are also extremely committed to our clients.
If we believe you have a valid claim, we will always allocate sufficient time and resources to handle your case appropriately. This is because, in order to successfully contest or challenge a will, a lawyer needs to have an in-depth understanding of the issues in that particular case. The difference between winning and losing a case often lies in the details.
It is important to understand that the law relating to wills and estates in Australia is state-based. This means that it differs slightly depending on the state or territory where the deceased lived and/or owned property. As a result, you need a lawyer who is an expert in the law of wills and estates in the state or territory where you will make your claim. We are well positioned to help you to contest or challenge a will no matter where you live, because we are a national firm with offices across Australia.
We offer a free initial consultation where we meet with you and evaluate whether your claim is viable from a legal perspective.
Alternatively, you can call us on 1800 769 665 and our lawyers will provide you with free initial advice over the phone. Most importantly, you will speak to one of our legal experts the first time you call our office.
Our No-Win – No-Fee Guarantee is designed to assist you if your current financial circumstances might otherwise deny you access to legal representation. The scheme allows for payment of our legal costs to be postponed until after the successful conclusion of your claim.
If, after meeting you and evaluating your case, we believe that you have a valid claim, we will offer you a No-Win – No-Fee contract. It is a simple and easy-to-understand document that we will provide you before we start work on your claim. We will also give you an estimate of our legal fees before any work commences.
Would you like a free initial consultation with a lawyer who is an expert in inheritance disputes?
If so, call us now on 1300 769 665.
What is ‘contesting’ a will?
‘Contesting’ a will refers to the situation where a person uses the family provision legislation in each state and territory to question the distribution of assets in a will. In this way, contesting a will can best be understood as a ‘contest’ among a deceased person’s family members regarding the proceeds of the deceased’s estate. In simple terms, a family provision claim is when you make an application to a court for a portion, or a larger portion, of a deceased person’s estate on the grounds that you haven’t been ‘adequately provided for’.
What is ‘challenging’ a will?
‘Challenging’ a will refers to challenging the validity of a will itself. The reasons for challenging a will include issues such as:
What is the purpose of the family provision laws?
The family provision laws enable the courts in each state and territory to interfere if they believe a will is unfairly causing hardship to a person associated with the deceased. In these cases, the court will override the will and grant a proportion of the deceased person’s estate to an ‘eligible applicant’.
How do the family provision laws in each state and territory differ?
While the basic principles enabling you to make a claim are similar, there are some important differences between the laws in each Australian state and territory in terms of:
How do you know which is the correct state in which to make your family provision claim?
The law that applies to a particular family provision claim will depend on the state or territory in which the deceased person was residing when they died and/or where they owned either real estate or personal property.
A lawyer will be able to tell you where you should make your family provision claim.
If you are thinking of making a family provision claim, do you need to get legal advice?
The law relating to family provision cases is complex.
So, if you are thinking of making a family provision claim, you will need a lawyer to:
For a free initial consultation to find out whether you can make a family provision claim, please call us on 1300 769 665.
Even if you live in a different state from the deceased person, we can help you.
At Monaco Compensation Lawyers, each of our offices across Australia has a team that specialises in contesting and challenging wills, which means we are ideally placed to assist in these kinds of cases.
In these cases, the deceased’s property is distributed according to rules set down in state-based legislation.
It is important to understand that these rules don’t take into account the individual circumstances of any potential beneficiaries of the deceased, with the result that there may be an unfair distribution of the deceased person’s assets.
For a free initial consultation on a situation where someone close to you has died without leaving a will, please call us on 1300 769 665.
The concept of ‘adequate provision’ is complex and difficult to define.
For this reason, it is important to get legal advice on whether you have received ‘adequate provision’ under the terms of the deceased’s will, and whether or not you may have a valid claim under the law for additional provision.
Who can contest a will in NSW?
In NSW, in order to contest a will you must:
Who is classified as an ‘eligible person’ under the law in NSW?
In order to be considered by the court as an ‘eligible person’, you need to be the deceased person’s:
In addition, an ‘eligible person’ may be someone who was:
In order to decide whether you have a valid family provision claim, the court may consider:
Are there any time limits on family provision claims in NSW?
In NSW, if you’re an ‘eligible person’, your application must be made to the court within 12 months of the deceased person’s death. However, the court may make an exception in certain circumstances.
For a free initial consultation to find out whether you can make a family provision claim in New South Wales, please call us on 1300 769 665.