If you’ve been left out of a Will, or have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance you have been provided, you may be able to make a claim against the deceased’s estate.
Who can dispute a Will?
In South Australia, those who may be entitled to claim against an estate include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- Wife or husband
- Defacto or same sex partner
- Former spouse or former defacto partner
- Stepchildren (in limited circumstances)
- Parent, brother or sister (in limited circumstances)
This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
The persons listed above can challenge a Will on the basis that they believe that they were not provided for adequately.
What if I don’t believe the Will was valid?
You can challenge a Will on the following bases:
- if you believe that the will is a forgery;
- if the deceased lacked the mental capacity to make a Will at the time of its making;
- if the deceased did not know of or approve of the contents of the Will;
- if you believe that the deceased was unduly influenced;
- if there was fraud involved.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact us so that we can assess your claim and discuss the particular circumstances of your claim. If we continue with your claim, 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 isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and, in some cases, mediation may be a way forward.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing where the evidence will be presented and the Judge will make a final decision.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. You have only 6 months from the date of the issue of the grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to make a claim. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of time so please contact us to discuss your situation.
We can help
At every stage of challenging a Will it is important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees or to fight for you if the matter proceeds to Court.