Contesting a Will & Disputed Estate Litigation Lawyers for Western Australia
In Australia, the laws concerning Wills and estates are regulated on a State by State basis. However, the legal requirements and 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 considering contesting a Will or disputing an estate in Western Australia. Contact our team today to find out how we can help you on 02 9281 5088 or make an online enquiry.
There are several grounds for disputing a Will, which fall into two broad categories. If there is a query about its legitimacy, a Will challenge can be brought to its validity. If the Will is valid but has not adequately provided for ‘eligible’ persons, this may be the subject of a Will contest. Where a person resides has no bearing on a clam, the relevant factor is that the deceased lived and owned assets in Western Australia.
Contesting a Will in Western Australia
If a person has been left out of a Will or feels that they have not been adequately provided for, it may be possible to make a family provision claim under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA).
However, not all family members can make a claim. Those ‘eligible’ to apply for a family provision order in respect of a deceased’s estate in Western Australia are:
- spouse or de facto partner
- former spouse or de facto partner of the deceased (entitled to or receiving maintenance at the time of death);
- child of the deceased living at the date of death or born within 10 months of the deceased’s death;
- stepchild or grandchild (in limited circumstances);
- parent of the deceased.
In making its determination, the Court will consider all relevant factors. This will include, for example, the size of the estate, the financial resources and needs of the applicant, competing claims, contributions made by the applicant and their character and conduct, and their relationship with the deceased.
In Western Australia, a family provision claim can only be made after a grant of probate has been obtained. The time limit to make a claim for an adequate provision is six months from the date of probate. The Court has the power to extend this time limit in certain circumstances.
Challenging a Will's Validity- Deceased Estate Litigation, Western Australia
When a person challenges a Will, they are questioning the validity of the Will itself. The validity of a Will can be challenged if, for example, it does not meet the formalities as set out in the Wills Act 1970 (WA) or the Will is fraudulent, the subject of fraud or is not the most recent Will. The other grounds for challenge focus on the deceased. Did the deceased have the requisite mental capacity at the time of making the Will, or were they subjected to undue influence or manipulation when making the Will?
Challenging a Will on the basis of its validity should be undertaken before the grant is obtained, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.