If you’ve been left out of a Will or feel that you have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance you may be able to make a claim against the estate and Buller McLeod will dispute & deceased estate claim lawyers may be able to help. We have decades of experience in acting for client’s with a will dispute or who wish to make a deceased estate claim for adequate provision out of a deceased estate.
Who can dispute a Will?
In Victoria the persons who can make a claim against a deceased person’s Will for provision are:
- A spouse or domestic partner of the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death;
- A former spouse or domestic partner in a situation where a property settlement was not reached following their separation;
- A child, step child, or adopted child of the deceased who at the time of death was under the age of 18 years, or a fulltime student between the ages of 18 and 25 or who is under a disability;
- A person who believed the deceased was their parent for a substantial period of their life and was treated by the deceased as their natural child an “assumed child”);
- A registered caring partner;
- A grandchild of the deceased who was wholly or partly financially dependant on the deceased ;
- A spouse or domestic partner of a child of the deceased if the child dies within 1 year of the deceased’s deathwho was wholly or partly financially dependant on the deceased ;
- A member of the household of the deceased, or a former member who would have resumed being a member of the household but for the deceased’s death, who was wholly or partly financially dependant on the deceased
- other family mewmbers such as parents, nices, nephews, siblings, cousins, unregistered non-partner carers etc. are only eligible to make a claim if they fall into one of the other above categories, i.e. household member or assumed child.
If you think you may fall into one of these categories please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. You have only 6 months from the date of any Grant of Probate made to make a claim. In certain circumstances, we might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit so please contact us to discuss your situation.
What if I don’t believe the Will was valid?
You can challenge a Will if you believe that the will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. You can also challenge a Will if you believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact one of our lawyers by either sending us an email or calling on 03 9306 4000 to make an appointment to discuss your case (all our first interviews are free to a maximum of 30 minutes). Our lawyer will discuss the particular circumstances of your claim and provide you with preliminary advice as to whether it’s worth pursuing. If it’s worth continuing we will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings. We can still negotiate and in some cases mediation will be required by the court.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing where the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will it’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. Buller McLeod will dispute & deceased estate claim lawyers have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to try to avoid costly court fees, but if it comes down to court we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.
Contact us for more information or to arrange a consultation with one of our will dispute & deceased estate claim lawyers.