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Contesting Wills

 

The most common method of challenging Wills is under the Family Provision sections of the Succession Act. This allows certain categories of persons (called "eligible persons") to make a claim on the estate (often referred to as challenging a Will).

Eligible persons can include:

  • Spouses and de-facto partners.
  • Children.
  • Grandchildren.
  • Ex-partners.
  • Other persons who have lived with you and been financially dependent on you (for example, step-children).

Whether a person will be successful in a challenge depends on a range of factors, including:  

  • The relationship between the deceased and the person making the claim;
  • The relationship between the deceaased and the named beneficiaries;
  • The nature and the extent of any obligation or responsibilities owed by the deceased to the person making the claim and the named beneficiaries;
  • The financial position and needs of the person making the claim and the named beneficiaries (and their respective partners);
  • Any physical, intellectual or mental disability of the person making the claimant and the named beneficiaries;
  • The age of the person making the claim and the named beneficiaries;
  • Any contribution, financial or otherwise, by any person to the deceased's property (for example, if someone has helped build up the deceased's assets);
  • Any provision made by the deceased dor persons during his or her lifetime;
  • Any evidence of the testamentary intentions of the deceased;
  • The character and conduct of the person making the claim and the named beneficaries;
  • Any other matter the Court considers relevant.

As you can see, there is a broad scope of matters for the Court to consider in determining a claim.