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Contesting Wills & Family Provision

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We have experienced professionals in our offices to help you in the following areas of Estate Litigation:-

 

Family Provision Claims

Often, for a variety of reasons a person will fail to make proper provision in a Will for somebody in respect of whom the deceased person had a moral obligation to provide for. Those persons are normally current or ex spouses or defacto spouses and children or step children. Sometimes grandchildren may also have a claim as well as other persons who have, at some time, been at least partially financially dependent on the deceased and a member of the deceased's household.

 

If you think you may have a claim, we are happy to discuss your claim on an obligation free basis and at no cost for the first interview. We are usually able to await a successful completion until payment of our fees, the majority of which will normally be paid out of the Estate in any event.

 

Incapacity

A Will can be challenged in the event that, at the time it was made, the person making the Will lacks legal capacity. In effect, this means that the person making the Will, at the time, did not understand the nature and effect of a Will and/or the nature and effect of the contents of the Will that they were making, or that they were simply unable to make a rational decision as to the beneficiaries and gifts nominated in the Will.

 

This most frequently occurs in elderly people and people who are in frail health or suffering from some illness which affects their mind.

 

Undue Influence & Duress

Sometimes duress may be exerted on a person making a Will to make it in a certain way. The duress can be physical, psychological or in the form of a threat.

 

Undue influence can arise in circumstances where a relationship exists between a person making the Will and another person such that the other person was in a position to exert some power over the person making the Will to make in a certain way.

 

Contract to Make a Will

It is free for people (normally married or defacto couples) to make a binding Contract to make their Wills in a certain way. Usually both people make a Will in accordance with the Contract at or about the time the Contract is entered into.

 

Sometimes, however, a person will make a later Will which is inconsistent with the Contract and without telling the other Contracting party.

 

Also, after one party dies, the other party may make a Will which is inconsistent with the Contract.

 

A properly made Contract to make a Will is legally enforceable and persons affected by a breach of the Contract may be entitled to make a claim for damages and/or other relief from the Court.

 

 

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