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Can a Will be Contested?

Can a Will be Contested?

To Contest or Not to Contest

22nd November 2017

Dealing with a deceased person’s estate may warrant contention between individuals regarding their respective interests. Although the estate would be the last thing on your mind, contesting a will is a legally viable and necessary process if you believe that you are entitled to the estate, either wholly or partially.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that manifests a person’s intention regarding the distribution of their estate onced deceased. It ensures that a person’s assets are protected as they are distributed in accordance with their wishes.

If you’re seeking to draft a will, check out our article How Do I Make My Will?.

Can You Contest a Will?

Contesting an existing will involves questioning its validity in accordance with the requirements set out in the Succession Act of your respective state or territory.

The validity of a will depends on whether:

  • The will was the last will of the deceased;
  • The deceased had capacity to make the will;
  • Any alterations to the will was made post-execution;
  • There was any undue influence that led to the execution of the will by the deceased.

To determine whether a will is valid by way of one or more of the above considerations, it is always recommended to seeking legal advice by expert estate planning lawyers. Aditionally, check out our article Step-by-Step Guide to Disputing a Will.

Who Can Contest a Will?

Those who are eligible to contest a will include:

  • Spouse or former spouse of the deceased;
  • Persons in a de facto or domestic relationship with the deceased;
  • A child or grandchild of the deceased;
  • Persons in a close personal relationship with the deceased;
  • Persons dependant on the deceased, either wholly or partly, at any point in time.

The above list of eligibility to contest is not exclusive – it may depend on an array of surrounding circumstances. Our estate planning lawyers can advise you on your eligibility.

Contesting a will is a complex and difficult process, LawPath recommends seeking legal advise by expert estate planning lawyers from our marketplace. Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 750+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Author
Zachary Swan

Zac is a consultant at Lawpath, Australia’s largest and fastest growing online legal platform. Since joining Lawpath, Zac has assisted 1000s of startups and small business’s with their legal needs.