The law in Queensland and most other states and territories allows for family members, dependents and sometimes relatives to contest a will if they have not been adequately provided for or they think that they have been overlooked.
A claimant has as little as six months from the date of death to make a claim on the estate. This is a very important matter, among others, to be considered by a potential claimant.
Proper advice should be obtained to give light to the proper quantum of adequate provision.
If a will is contested and the matter does not settle (the vast majority of these sorts of claims settle out of court) then the court will hear all of the evidence and make a decision.
The “loser” of the case is normally ordered to pay the legal costs of the other party but this is a discretionary matter for the court.
There are a number of ways to dispute the validity of a will and by far the main grounds for this type of dispute is that the will-maker did not have the mental capacity to make a valid will.
The treating doctors of the will-maker normally give evidence on this topic and generally, the court gives a heavy weight to their evidence.
To mitigate the risk that a person may make a claim against the estate, it is best that the will-maker makes adequate provision for any spouse/de facto partner, children or stepchildren and other people financially reliant on them.
There is no exact amount of money that makes up adequate provision as each person’s circumstances are different.
Advice should be obtained from a competent lawyer in that regard.
If considering contesting a will, contact Ryans Solicitors estate lawyers 5445 1213 for an obligation-free consultation. Visit ryansolicitors.com.au