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.
- 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.
At Mason Lawyers, we help people to make a claim, as well as executors and beneficiaries defending claims:-