Contesting a Will & Deceased Estate Litigation Lawyers, South Australia
In Australia, the laws concerning Wills and estates are regulated by each State. However, these legal requirements and, for example, the grounds for disputing a Will or estate are very similar across the country. Established in 1994 in Sydney, Szabo & Associates Solicitors can provide specialist advice to those wanting to contest a Will in South Australia or involved in deceased estate litigation. Contact us today on 02 9281 5088.
Disputing a Will generally means either a person believes they have not received a sufficient share of an estate and wish to contest the Will, or there are questions as to its legitimacy, and they wish to make a Will challenge as to its validity. The claimant doesn't need to live in South Australia. What matters is if the deceased lived in South Australia and/or had assets there.
Contesting a Will in South Australia
Generally speaking, people may leave their possessions to anyone or cause they wish to in their Will. However, a Court may consider this unreasonable and can exercise its discretion to vary the Will. For example, a family provision claim is filed with the Court by a person seeking provision, or a larger provision, from the estate because they consider that they have been left without adequate provision for their proper maintenance, education or advancement in life.
Making a family provision claim
In order to make a family provision claim, it is necessary to be an ‘eligible’ person. To be eligible, it is necessary to fall within one of the categories outlined in the State legislation. These categories include a spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, child and, under certain circumstances, a stepchild, grandchild, parent, brother or sister.
In deciding, the Court will consider all relevant factors, including the size and nature of the estate, the applicant’s financial position, their health and ability to earn, their relationship with the deceased and any competing claims.
Time limits for making a claim in South Australia
In South Australia, the time limit to make a claim for family provision is within six months of the date of the grant of probate. This can be extended at the discretion of the Court but cannot be relied on. If you are considering making a claim, it is important you act fast. Our Deceased Estate Litigation Lawyers for South Australia can provide expert guidance and successfully resolve even the most complicated estate litigation.
Challenging the Validity of a Will in South Australia
A person may challenge the validity of a Will in South Australia if they have an ‘interest’ in the estate. This means they are a beneficiary of the Will in an earlier version, or would have been entitled to a share of the estate had the deceased died without a valid Will.
There are several circumstances where a Will may be considered invalid. Examples include the writer lacking sufficient mental capacity or being subject to undue influence. In addition, the Will itself may be suspected of being fraudulent, or there was a failure to comply with the formalities.
Deceased Estate Litigation Legal Advice
If wishing to challenge a Will in South Australia, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Once probate has been granted, and distribution of the estate has commenced, the opportunity to challenge the validity of the Will is limited. Contact our Contesting a Will Lawyers today.