If you’ve been left out of a Will, or have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance, you may be able to make a claim against the estate.
Who can dispute a Will?
It varies from State to State, but some of the people who may be entitled to claim in Queensland include those related to the deceased as follows:
- wife or husband
- defacto or same-sex partner
- former spouse or defacto partner
- child or stepchild
- parent of a child of the deceased
This is a very general guide only, so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. In Queensland, you have only six months from the date of death to give notice of your claim and nine months to file your claim. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of these time limits, so please contact us to discuss your situation.
What if I don’t believe the Will is valid?
You can challenge a Will if you believe that the will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. You can also challenge a Will if you believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.
But I was promised!
In some circumstances, if the deceased has promised to make a gift to you on their death, you may be able to enforce that promise.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact a lawyer, who can assess your claim and discuss the particular circumstances of your claim. If it’s worth continuing we will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and, subject to the circumstances and your instructions, possibly make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. The usual course is for the parties to engage in mediation to encourage settlement prior to the parties incurring the cost of a trial or hearing.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a Court where the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.
We can help
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will, it’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees, but if it comes down to proceeding to court, we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation.