Inheritance Claims and Will Disputes
If you have been left out of a Will or you feel that you haven’t been properly provided for in the Will you should seek legal advice as to whether you have a claim for further provision from the estate of the deceased person.
The Inheritance (Family Provision) Act is designed to ensure that a family member of a deceased person receives adequate provision out of the deceased’s estate despite what is contained in the Will.
Who can claim the benefit of the Act?
There are various classes of persons who can make a claim including the spouse, de facto or same-sex partner of the deceased, the child, grandchild and a parent of the deceased. In some circumstances, a brother or sister of the deceased and even a former spouse of the deceased can make a claim.
What can you do?
As there are strict time limits imposed by the Act, it is crucial that you seek legal advice from us as soon as possible, as a claim must be made within 6 months of the Grant of Probate (or the Letters of Administration in circumstances where a person has died without a Will.) Only in very limited circumstances will a court grant an extension of time to bring a claim under the Act.
If you have already given notice to the executor or administrator of your intention to make a claim, Court proceedings must be filed and served on the executor within 3 months of that notice.
What we can do
In considering your matter, we will advise you as to whether you have a claim and the steps involved in pursuing an inheritance claim.
Generally, in such matters, the Court will consider whether a claimant has not been provided for by the deceased by examining all the circumstances of the matter including –
- the size of the estate;
- the age, health and financial position of the claimant;
- the relationship between the deceased and the claimant;
- any assistance provided to the deceased by the claimant; and
- the moral duty of the deceased to provide for the claimant.
The majority of Will disputes are settled, at the early stages of the matter and prior to the matter proceeding to trial.
We understand that Will disputes are a sensitive and difficult area between family members and we take a proactive and pragmatic approach to achieving a successful resolution of matters in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Executors and beneficiaries defending claims
We also provide guidance to executors, if Court proceedings have been issued by a claimant, in particular, advising as to the executor’s role in the Court action and the various documents and information that the executor will be required to provide.
Similarly, if you are a beneficiary in a Will and you want to protect a provision made to you in the will, we will provide you with expert advice as to how to defend your inheritance and maintain the provision made to you by the deceased.
Free Initial Consultation
At your first free initial consultation, we will consider your instructions and any documents provided, advise as to the merits of your claim and explain the steps involved in making a claim and any subsequent Court process.
We will also provide you with an estimate of costs in pursuing such an action.
Call us now to arrange a free first consultation with an experienced estate litigator. Phone 8231 1363 or click here to make an enquiry by email.