There isn’t a more emotional time than losing a loved one. Unfortunately, will contesting can exacerbate the situation, especially if a family member feels they have been ignored.
However, if you feel you have been wronged throughout the process then you do reserve the right to contest the will. Of course, it’s only natural to feel that this process is overwhelming, and that you may have certain questions regarding how it pans out.
The best estate lawyers Canberra has available can assist you with this process, but here are five questions you may need answered in the present, just to get a better idea of will contesting:
- What exactly is will contesting?
Will contesting is when a deceased person’s family member/members feel that the will will not adequately provide for them or has left them out completely. In Australia, the will’s contents can be challenged if there is a proper reason for it. This can be due to a number of reasons including a family member’s financial needs, whether the situation is truly unfair or if the will maker lacked mental capacity or was subject to undue influence throughout the will making process.
A family provision claim on the estate can then be introduced to contest the will. It is imperative to enlist the best estate lawyers Canberra has available if you want to make this claim. You can also contest the will’s validity, with reasons varying from whether the willmaker knew of the will’s contents and impact and whether the willmaker was made to include particular items.
- Why do people contest wills?
Will contests generally arise for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The right provision was not made for a beneficiary;
- The willmaker promised a beneficiary a particular provision but this did not occur;
- There was an obvious mistake in the will;
- The willmaker was subject to undue influence or lacked the mental capacity to make a proper will.
- Who is allowed to contest a will?
Typically, the people who are eligible to make a family provision application include the following:
- A partner or former partner – including a de facto;
- Any of the deceased person’s children (including step children);
- Grandchildren or someone who lived with the deceased;
- Dependents, and anyone that the deceased supports.
- Am I able to contest my parents’ wills?
Yes, you can contest your parents’ wills. However, it is important to consider your age, as if you are self-supportive and have not lived with your parents for some time then you may have to prove that you are entitled to ongoing support from the deceased. You may also have to demonstrate a financial need that your parent should provide for you.
- Can dementia impact my ability to contest a will?
If it appears that dementia caused your family member to lack the substantial mental ability to produce a fair and proper will then there is the possibility you can make a family provision claim.
We hope these answers have given you a deeper insight into who has the ability to contest a will. Of course, the law’s complexity is profound, and so the very best way to understand your rights concerning probate law is to enlist the professionals. They will provide you with a detailed understanding of the process and how you can go about making a family provision claim.