If you are a beneficiary or an Executor tasked with distributing an estate that becomes disputed this can be a very challenging and stressful time. The experienced lawyers at WGC Lawyers care about the outcome of your case. We will advise and guide you in relation to a broad range of estate litigation, helping you to achieve, as far as possible, a timely and satisfactory resolution to any dispute. Are you a beneficiary or executor faced with the task of distributing an estate that is under dispute? Speak with a wills lawyer Cairns residents trust. Contact WGC Lawyers today.
Who Can Contest a Will/Estate?
While it is a person’s right to decide who inherits their assets, Australian law offers protection to certain people who claim that they should have been included in a will. You may be eligible to contest a will if you fall into one of these four groups:
- Current or previous spouse
- Current de facto partners
- Children, including stepchildren
- Any individual who is dependent on the deceased (this may differ from state to state)
Will Dispute Process
Time is of the essence when contesting a Will. The process can take a while and requires individuals to organise their claim before submitting it. In general, the claim must be submitted within 6 to 12 months of the date of death. Keep in mind that this period may differ from state to state.
At WGC lawyers, we work closely with clients to follow the will dispute procedure accurately and within the time frame specified. We develop your case based on your relationship with the deceased and the financial needs you are faced with. We specialise in settling Will disputes quickly, discreetly and without involving the courts unless absolutely necessary. If negotiations stall and progress is halted, our lawyers prepare the matter for trial.
Common Grounds For Contesting a Will/Estate?
Common grounds for disputing the validity of a Will are:
Claims of Undue Influence
If one party claims that another beneficiary has exerted undue influence over a deceased in order to shape the Will, a dispute claim can be filed to contest the Will. For instance, an individual may be influenced to exclude eligible beneficiaries from the will.
Allegations of Fraud
An allegation of fraud can be made if there are questions regarding the authenticity of a signature on a Will, or if a Will is believed to be a forgery.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity
These types of claims often arise when it is believed that the deceased was suffering from an illness that resulted in memory loss or diminished mental capacity.
Lawyers for Estate Planning in Cairns
As experts in estate planning, WGC Lawyers has the skill and experience required to take on every kind of will dispute case. Contact us today to learn the ins and outs of will dispute law and how we can help you build a strong case that benefits you.