It is important to understand there are laws in place to ensure that a deceased person’s assets are appropriately distributed, and that family members and other categories of people are adequately provided for.
Laws around who is eligible to contest a Will and the time limits that apply vary between states. The following is general information only, so it’s important to seek advice on your specific situation.
Reasons to contest a Will
You can challenge a legal Will for a variety of reasons including:
You believe the Will doesn’t make adequate provision for you. This is known as a testator’s family maintenance or family provision claim. You must be an eligible person to contest a Will such as a spouse (including de facto), child or in some states step-child, a financial dependent, etc
You can show that the deceased was not of sound mind when they made the Will. In this instance the challenge would be based on the deceased’s decision-making capacity being impaired through age, illness or some other factor
You believe the deceased was pressured or threatened to sign the Will, often called duress. It can be the case that the elderly can be targeted in this manner and compelled to create or alter a Will in a way that disadvantages you
You were made a promise by the deceased that if you did something for them, they would provide for you in their Will. While you upheld your end of the promise, they did not, and as a result you were not adequately provided for in the Will. This scenario is known as promissory estoppel, and in instances such as this a court may impose a constructive trust and order an asset be held on trust for a beneficiary
Strict Time Limits Apply
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible as strict time limits apply to making a claim to dispute a Will.
No Win No Fee* Disputed Will Service
At Shine, we provide Will dispute services on a No Win No Fee* basis, so you don’t have to worry about out of pocket legal expenses. Our legal fees are only charged in the event of a successful outcome.
How Shine Lawyers can help you
Shine Lawyers are experts in Wills and Estate Law who can determine if you have legal grounds to contest a Will. Your lawyer will work effectively and efficiently to deliver practical solutions on time to ensure that you ultimately receive what you’re entitled to. The laws surrounding Wills and Estates can be complex, and vary from state to state, so it’s important to seek the advice of an expert. To find out more, and to begin the process of contesting a Will, contact us today.
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