Contesting a Will
The passing of a loved one is a challenging time and is even more difficult if someone is contesting a Will.
If you’ve been left out of a Will or believe you’re entitled to a larger pool of the assets, Bridge Legal may be able to help you reach a favourable outcome that offers closure and peace of mind.
The rules of contesting a Will vary from state-to-state and this information should only serve as a general guide.
For advice on your particular circumstances, give Bridge Legal a call on (02) 8294 2650.
Who Can Contest a Will?
Almost anyone who had a relationship with the deceased and has either been left out of the Will or believes they have received an unfair portion of the assets.
Eligible claimants may be:
- Husband or wife
- Children, step-child or grandchildren
- Caregiver of the deceased
- Parent of a child of the deceased
- Anyone financially dependent on the deceased
What Happens When You Contest a Will?
First, you need to contact a lawyer, who will assess the unique circumstances of your case and tell you whether the case is valid or not.
If your claim has a chance of success, Bridge Legal will collect the necessary evidence, prepare the relevant documents and make an offer to the executor.
From there, your case will either proceed to mediation or the courts.
How Much Time Do Claimants Have?
In NSW, you must submit a claim within 12 months from the date the Will-maker passed away. Bridge Legal may be able to extend the time limit of your claim under certain circumstances.
Will I Have to Attend Court?
Many successful cases have been resolved peacefully without the emotional and financial burden of court.
Mediation is an informal process that allows both parties to re-negotiate the terms of the Will and reach a legally binding outcome. During these sessions, the Executor of the Estate is expected to provide information about the value of the estate and individual terms including the full list of assets available.
With help from an experienced mediator, both parties can discuss their differences and work together to reach a just outcome. Many people in the Eastern Suburbs prefer the informal structure of mediation because:
- You have more flexibility over the outcomes of the dispute
- The process is more ‘relaxed’ yet still constructive
- It’s cheaper than going to court
- Going to mediation is faster – waiting for your day in court can take months
- The outcomes are final and designed to end the disputes
If mediation does not resolve the contested estate, Bridge Legal can help you prepare for court.
Bridge Legal Can Help