Challenging and Contesting a Will

Although the law accepts a person's right to nominate who will inherit his or her property, there are often reasons why a person should be contesting a will. The law in NSW assists family members, de facto and same-sex partners, or anyone else who can show they were financially dependant or reliant on the deceased, to contest and challenge a will if they believe the will to be unfair.

You can contest a will if it can be clearly shown that the testator did not have the mental capacity to understand what he or she was signing or if they were influenced to sign a will that did not reflect his or her wishes. If you want to contest a will, RJ Thomas Solicitor strongly recommends that you seek expert legal advice to provide that your entitlements are protected.

If you are named or appointed the executor of an estate, you may receive notice by a claimant of their intention to disputing a will. If this happens, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately.

RJ Thomas Solicitor can help.....

Call (02)9977 8211

What legal avenues are available to dispute a will?

Contesting a Will can be a hard decision. When someone close to you dies, it is always a difficult time. It can be even more upsetting to discover that you have not been left a fair inheritance. This is where RJ Thomas Solicitor can help you lodge a claim to dispute a Will.

The law recognises that a person making a Will has the right to deal with their estate as they wish. However, there are also laws to protect people to whom the deceased had a moral responsibility. In certain circumstances, the law can be used to intervene to ensure that those people are fairly provided for, even if they have been left out of the Will.

If you have been left out of a Will, or you feel that the Will unfairly provides for you, you may be able to contest the Will if:

  • you were dependent on the deceased
  • your share of the estate is not adequate for your maintenance and support
  • your relationship with the deceased only began after the last Will was made
  • the Will does not provide for the partner or children in another marriage or de facto relationship
  • you believe that the Will is grossly unfair
  • you can show that the Willmaker was not in a sound state of mind when they made a Will
  • you can show that the Willmaker was unduly influenced by one or more of the beneficiaries, or
  • the Will is unclear.

If someone close to you dies without a leaving a Will, you may also be able to make a claim to ensure that you get a fair share of the estate.

There is no fixed rule about who can and who can't challenge a Will in. You must have had a close relationship with the deceased, but that does not mean you have to have been related. Rencontres

Time limits

The time limits for contesting a Will vary from state to state. 

New South Wales/ACT

In New South Wales and the ACT, generally claims against an estate must be commenced withing 12 months of the date of death.