Areas of Practice
What We Do
Areas of Practice
Contesting or Challenging a Will
Whether there is a will or not you can make a claim for your rightful entitlements. At Boon Legal we can make a claim on the estate or defend a claim.
There are many good reasons why a person should contest a will or make a claim against an estate. While the deceased has the right to leave their estate to whom they want the law also specifies that they have legal and moral obligations and responsibilities to family members and others due to the nature of the relationship. The category of people who can make such a claim is specified in the law of each State and Territory. If family members and others for whom the deceased had a responsibility to provide are left out of a will or the deceased did not make adequate provision they can make an application to the court for proper provision. In Victoria this is known as a Part IV claim or a family provision claim.
We have extensive experience in acting for people contesting wills. We make sure that you get the best possible result. We are always realistic in our advice.
The vast majority of all contests to a will are settled by written agreement at mediation between the parties without the expense and time delays of a court hearing.
Many people with good reasons to contest a will do not have the money for the legal costs and never get what they are entitled to. If we asses that you have grounds for a claim and you want us to act for you we will do so on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. This means we will not ask you for costs upfront and our legal fees and costs will only be paid if you are successful. We know that for many people this is the only way they can enforce their rights and receive their just entitlement.
There are strict time limitations in which to contest a will. The law is different in each State and Territory. In Victoria you have six months from the date probate is granted.
You may also be able to challenge a will and have it declared invalid if:
- the deceased lacked capacity at the time of executing the will;
- the deceased was unduly influenced into making the will;
- the deceased did not know or approve the contents of the will;
- the will was not executed correctly;
- the will that was executed was not the last will;
- the will was made in suspicious circumstances or there is evidence of tampering.
If one or more of the above grounds are proven the court may declare the will invalid. If the will is declared invalid a previous will becomes the valid one. If the deceased did not have a previous will the estate would be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy of the relevant State or Territory.
Contesting or challenging a will or seeking a distribution where there is no will is complex. Each State and Territory has time limits in which to make such an application. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
As well as assisting people to contest a will we act for executors defending claims against the estate. Our knowledge and experience and understanding of what is important to all the parties means that we are always realistic in our advice to ensure the best outcome.
Linda can represent beneficiaries in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina who have rights to the deceased’s assets in Australia. Linda can also represent executors living in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina in defending a claim on the deceased’s estate.
Linda can also assist solicitors in Australia, Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina where people living in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina are contesting or defending a will.