If you have assets you’d like to share with particular people when you die, you need to have a Will. You also need to review and possibly update your Will every few years to ensure it reflects your wishes.
But what happens if someone close to you feels left out of your Will or there are disputes amongst your beneficiaries? In these situations, your Will can be disputed or contested.
Why contest a Will?
A Will can be contested if beneficiaries feel the Will:
- Unfairly favours one person over others
- Is unfair or under-recognises someone close to the deceased
- Was drafted when the deceased was not of sound mind (this could be caused by a degenerative illness such as Alzheimer’s Disease or other mental health issue)
Who can contest a Will?
To contest or dispute a Will, you must be able to demonstrate a dependency on the deceased and meet certain criteria. You must also be able to establish a relationship with them such as a:
- Spouse (including de facto partners) or former spouse
- Child of the deceased (including adopted and step-children)
- Grandchild or other member of the deceased’s family
- Member of the household who was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased
- Person living in a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of their death
How do you contest or challenge a Will?
You need to obtain legal advice if you are considering challenging a Will for any reason. The solicitor will ask you for background information on your relationship with the deceased, your dependency on them and your current circumstances. As the matter progresses, you may be required to provide further information.
It’s not an easy process
A contested Will is a messy process for both sides. That’s why it’s important to get your Will right in the first place and to obtain expert advice if you or another party are contesting a Will.
At Taylor & Scott, we have a team of experts in the area of Wills and Estates to help you with a contested Will / disputed Will of a loved one.
Contact us to arrange a meeting.