In some circumstances, it is possible for a family member to contest a deceased person’s will.
There is a common misconception that people can contest someone’s will because they were not treated “fairly.” What is “fair” actually has little to do with anything in cases like this.
In order to be able to contest a will, a potential claimant needs to prove that they:
- Are eligible (within the meaning of the Succession Act) to being such a claim; and
- Have not been adequately provided for under the will of the deceased person for their maintenance, education and advancement in life.
Once an executor has been notified of a potential claim, it is a good idea to consider the possibility that the matter could be settled without the involvement of the Court.
If that is not possible, then a Summons is filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and “Family Provision” proceedings are commenced. These matters are always referred to mediation at first instance in an attempt to settle the matter without incurring excessive legal costs. Of course, in some cases, it is not possible to settle a matter at mediation and it is necessary for the case to proceed to a hearing before a Judge of the Supreme Court.
These cases require a lot of work and can be very involved. Our solicitors act in many of these types of cases each year and have become experts in the field. Our experience will ensure that your matter is handled efficiently and effectively.
We also understand that for a lot of our clients, this will be the first time that they have ever faced a set of Court proceedings such as these. We will be available to answer all of your questions and address any concerns while ensuring that you are kept up to speed on all matters along the way.