Contesting a Will
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?
Categories of people who may be entitled to claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- wife or husband
- de facto or same sex partner
- former spouse or de facto partner
- child or stepchild
- parent, brother or sister
- someone who was financially dependent on the deceased or who was treated as a child by the Will-maker
This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. Pursuant to the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) section 99, the time limit to make a claim is within 6 months of the date of the grant of Probate or Administration or 3 months from the time you give notice to the estate that you have a claim under section 99a of the Act. In certain circumstances, we may be able to obtain an extension of the time limit so please contact us to discuss your situation.
What if I don’t believe the Will was 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.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact Matthies Lawyers in South Yarra, 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 make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter is not resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and in some cases mediation will be required by the court.
If required, we will proceed to a court hearing wherein 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 is important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf outside of court, and if litigation is required we have the experience to get you the best result possible.
Contact us to arrange a confidential consultation with Matthies Lawyers in South Yarra.