can wills be contested

How to contest a will

How to contest a will

Discover our top 6 tips on how to contest a will and how to know can will be contested.

Get a copy of the Will

This is not always possible if the executor is resisting.  However, if you are an immediate family member you are entitled to a copy. If you still encounter resistance ask your lawyer to demand a copy.

Don’t leave it too late

In Victoria, you have a time limit of 6 months after probate is granted to the executor, in which to make your claim and challenge the provisions in the Will.  In other states, time limits differ.

Select an experienced lawyer in deceased estates claims for initial advice

As it is a niche area of law you want to have a lawyer that deals with these claims all the time and can give you an indication of how good your claim is and any problems with evidence you may need to look at to overcome difficulties.

Ask about costs and methods to pay

Most lawyers expect upfront payment to run these cases. Some lawyers will wait till the end of the case provided the minor out of pocket expenses are paid. This can be particularly helpful if you have no funds to run the case but a very good case to run.  Check if the lawyer will offer a free first time consult to give advise on the merits of your case and what needs to be done before you commit to any course of action.

Consider a written offer prior to taking the matter to court

If your lawyer can show the judge after the case is decided, that you made a reasonable offer prior to the case starting, then you have a good chance to recover most if not all of your costs.  Sometimes costs are ordered out of the estate automatically for every party’s legal costs (provided they are not excessive) but in situations where the executor has been unreasonable and not settled on a good offer the Court may make the executor pay their own costs out of their own pocket and even contribute to your costs being reimbursed rather than the estate being depleted.

Don’t forget to gather your evidence

Witness statements are important to back you up on the facts you are alleging and to also support your credibility.  It is good to get early cooperation with witnesses and access to your lawyer so the merits of your case can be better looked at and there are no surprises later on.

 

Rigoli Lawyers are specialists in deceased estates. If you need assistance with any issues when it comes to Wills, contact us on the number below

We also offer free half hour legal consults. They can be done in person or via Skype or telephone conference.

Call 03 8742 3199 or email info@rigolilawyers.com.au to make a booking and mention this article to claim your free booking.