Contested Wills & Estates Lawyers for Tasmania
While each Australian State and Territory has its own laws regarding disputing a Will, they share many similarities. Szabo & Associates Solicitors, established in Sydney in 1994, can provide specialist advice to those considering contesting a Will or those involved in deceased estate litigation in Tasmania
There are several grounds for disputing an estate, which fall into two broad categories. If there is a query as to the legitimacy of the Will, a Will challenge can be brought. If the Will is valid but has not adequately provided for certain categories of persons, this may be the subject of a Will contest. Where a person lives is not relevant to making a claim. The important factor is that the deceased lived and owned assets in Tasmania. For advice on how the team at Szabo & Associate Solicitors can help you with Contesting a Will, contact us today on 02 9281 5088 or complete an online enquiry.
Contesting a Will in Tasmania
In Tasmania, 'eligible' persons can contest a Will by making a family provision claim (testator family maintenance application) if they have been left without adequate provision in the Will for their proper maintenance and support. The groups who can make an application are restricted to:
- a surviving spouse or partner;
- children of the deceased, including step and adopted children;
- parents of the deceased if the deceased had no spouse or children;
- an ex-spouse or partner who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, maintenance from the deceased at the date of death
The Court balances the right of the deceased to leave their estate to whoever they choose with the obligation to provide for family members and dependents. In making a determination, the Court will consider all relevant factors. This will include the estate's size, the claimant's financial needs, the character and conduct of the claimant, and the relationship they had with the deceased. There are the other beneficiaries and any competing claims to consider, along with the reasons why the deceased made the decisions they did about how to leave their property.
A claim should be made within three months from the date of the grant of probate. The Court has the discretion to extend this period, but it should not be relied upon.
Challenging the Validity of a Will in Tasmania - Deceased Estate Litigation
If there are concerns about the validity of a Will, there are a number of grounds on which it can be challenged. The most common reasons include undue influence, a lack of mental capacity or lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will by the maker. The Will itself may be fraudulent or did not conform to the required formalities.
In Tasmania, a person wishing to make a challenge must have the required 'standing'. This means a named beneficiary in an earlier Will of the deceased or someone entitled to a share of the deceased's estate had the deceased not made a Will.
If it is believed that there is a basis for challenging a Will, it is important to act promptly, as the granting of probate may prevent the challenge from proceeding.