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 family provision claim against the estate.
Who can dispute a will?
People who may be entitled to make a family provision claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- Wife or husband
- Defacto or same sex partner
- Former spouse or defacto partner
- Child, stepchild or grandchild
- Parent of a child of the deceased
- Parent, brother or sister
- Someone who was financially dependent on the deceased
- Carer of the deceased
This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. You have only 6 months from the grant of probate to make a claim, or if the deceased died without a will, 6 months after letters of administration have been granted. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit however such extensions are not easily granted and often add significant costs to the matter so it is important to act within the prescribed time limits.
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 family provision claim?
First, get in touch with Catchpole Legal, 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 isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and in all cases mediation will be required by the court.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a final 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’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to reduce your total legal fees, but if it comes down to court we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors in Alphington, Brunswick or at your home or office.