Contested Wills

CONTESTING A WILL & DECEASED ESTATES

A Will may be the subject of a claim brought in Court by:-

  • a husband or wife of the deceased;
  • a de facto partner (at the time of the deceased’s death);
  • a child or an adopted child;
  • a former wife or husband;
  • any person who was dependent upon the deceased;
  • a grandchild who was a member of the household of the deceased;
  • a person living in a close personal relationship with the deceased.

THE LAW

Application of the Succession Act and the Family Provision Act provide an entitlement for people who fall into the above categories to make a claim for their provision from the Estate of the deceased who failed to provide adequately in their Will.

WHEN SHOULD THE CLAIM BE MADE?

In short, as soon as possible and certainly within 12 months of the date of death. There are limited provisions for extending this period in unusual circumstances.

LEGAL FEES

A successful claim against a Will almost invariably results in most the Applicant’s costs being paid from the Estate.

WHO HEARS THESE CASES

These cases are usually heard in the Supreme Court, however, before proceeding to a Hearing, Mediation (early settlement conferences) are usually held. These often result in the matter being finalised without any of the parties proceeding to a Court Hearing.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE A CLAIM?

If you think you have an entitlement in a Will which does not provide for you fairly or at all, telephone us to arrange a preliminary case advice over the phone without cost or email your enquiry.

ONLINE WILL PREPARATION

Here at Whitelaw McDonald our Senior Solicitors have been preparing Wills, both straight forward and complex Wills, for more than 30 years.

To ensure that in the event of your death your assets are dealt with in accordance with your wishes.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DONT LEAVE A WILL?

Your assets will be dealt with pursuant to a set table of “who gets what” set out in the NSW Act of Parliament The Succession Act.

It is for this reason that it is a good idea to always have an up to date and valid Will.

A Will can be prepared for you by Whitelaw McDonald in a number of ways.

1. Preparation of a Will in our office, face to face

This give you time to talk, discuss options and make the decisions which best suit you in a face to face environment.

2. Preparation of a Will over the telephone

We can discuss with you your needs over the telephone, send you an email or a letter to confirm we have all of the necessary information and then prepare to draft your Will. We will then discuss the Will with you in detail before sending it to you to sign or if convenient you call into our office to sign and witness with us.

3. Preparation of a Will via web video conference

A web video conference can be arranged so that we may discuss face to face as to how best to deal with your needs for inclusion in your Will. This has all of the advantages of a face to face conference without you needing to leave your home or work.

These conferences usually table about 30 minutes, however, in the case of a more complex Will it can take a little longer.

To arrange your video conference, please telephone our office or email your enquiry.