After the loss of a family member or a close friend, dealing with the grief associated with it is enough stress, not to mention the daunting task of handling their will. In some circumstances, you may feel as though the will is not fairly written, may include mistakes, or has been influenced by someone other than the deceased. In these cases, you may feel it is your responsibility to contest the will. Although this is quite difficult, it is not impossible. Continue reading below to find out when and how to go about contesting a will, as well as how the Lancaster Law and Mediation wills and estates lawyers in Sydney can help.
Who Can Contest a Will?
Before you attempt to contest a will, you must first determine if you have the legal rights to do so. Generally, you are able to contest a will if you were the beneficiary of a prior will of the deceased, are a beneficiary of the current will or are the beneficiary of a newer will than the one being contested.
When Can You Contest a Will?
Prior to contesting a will, you must find out if you are still within the statute of limitations, which is the time period that elapses after death in which legal contests can occur. This time period may be weeks, months, or even years. If the statute of limitations has expired, you no longer have any legal rights to contest the will. Speak to our estate planning lawyers in Sydney to learn more.
Reasons a Will can be Challenged
There are several reasons that a will can be challenged, such as:
- Lack of Testamentary Capacity: This means that you believe the person that created the will was not mentally fit to do so.
- Fraud, Undue Influence or Forgery: These grounds require you to prove that a third party forced the deceased to write the will in a certain way, under duress.
- There is Another Will: Often there is confusion as to what is the most current will. If you have proof that there is a newer will than the one being contested, you may have legal grounds to contest.
- State Requirements Not Met: Each state within Australia has different rules and regulations which the will must meet. If it does not, you may have the right to contest it.
Quality Estate Planning Lawyers Sydney
Lancaster Law and Mediation has a superior team of will dispute lawyers in Sydney, with extensive industry experience. For the most experienced wills and estates lawyers Sydney has to offer, contact us online, or call us today on 02 4227 1177 or 0418 488 495.