Although an unpalatable proposition, contested wills are a fact of life. A little under half of all Australians die without a binding will in place, making legal recourse for distribution of assets unavoidable in many cases. However, the process doesn’t need to turn into a family feud, and with an experienced will dispute lawyer on your side, the reversal can even work to your advantage. Taylor & Scott Lawyers have been assisting people in Sydney and NSW claim fair compensation since 1905, and your satisfaction is our success.
What are the grounds for contesting a will?
If you feel you have been unfairly treated during the distribution of an estate, you may be entitled to contest the will. If you suspect you or other beneficiaries have been under-recognised, it’s worth undertaking a case assessment with Taylor & Scott Lawyers. Our team of experts are fully versed in will and estate law, and if we believe you have a valid claim, we will act on your behalf.
Taylor & Scott will uphold your legal rights in achieving contested will success. Unfair distribution of an estate can be the result of many scenarios, including:
- You are a spouse or de facto partner who has been left out of the will
- You are a child or step-child whose share is less than that of your siblings
- You believe the deceased wasn’t of sound mental capacity when writing the will
- The will doesn’t meet legal requirements
- There are two conflicting wills written in a short space of time
- The will has been changed or amended after it was signed
Is there a time limit by which to contest a will?
There are strict time limits for contesting a will, with timeframes varying between states. In NSW, a claim is to be made within 12 months from the date of death. Everyone wants to get on with life as best as possible after the death of a loved one, and expediting the process is in everyone’s best interests. If you believe you have been not been provided for under a will Taylor & Scott Lawyers can assist with you with your claim if you meet the various statutory requirements.
In special circumstances, the time limit can be extended. Situations include a claimant having not been informed that a person had died, and some situations where people were unaware of the relevant time limits. Note however these are extreme rare circumstances.
Will I have to go to court?
When you entrust your legal representation to Taylor & Scott, we represent your case in all negotiations. There is no requirement of you to enter into any contested will discussions with the estate executor or opposing legal representatives. When Taylor & Scott lawyers enter dispute resolution proceedings on your behalf, we do so with comprehensive knowledge of your case, along years of case-winning experience.
How do I know exactly what my claim is worth?
The value of the claim is assessed by legal processes. Entitlements from the will are based on the needs of claimants and can include day-to-day maintenance, education, advancement of life and other means of support. The court will examine your situation, including finances, debts, mortgages, education requirements, medical expenses, other expenses and your salary or employment and the court will also look at what the estate is worth. Once your overall financial situation is understood, a decision is made regarding alteration of the will in your favour.