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Law

What You Need to Know about Contesting a Will

In Australia, there are rules about who can be covered by a will and who should be covered. There are also laws governing how a will can be written. If the will is not written properly, it is not necessarily valid since it’s not a legally-binding contract. Generally speaking, the law holds that people are allowed to leave their property to whomever they choose. However, in certain cases, family members and dependents can contest that will’s validity. The most common reasons for doing so are to see if the will was improperly written or for mental disease or defect of the deceased. Here are some details you need to know.

Who Can Contest a Will

Not just anyone can contest a will. In the case that a will might not have been written legally, courts have generally maintained that wills can be contested by family members, current or former spouses and life partners, and anyone who is or was a dependent of the deceased. Generally, courts have held that a person has to maintain their obligations to those who depend upon them.

For example, if a person is paying to support children but does not leave those children any assets in the will, those children can contest it. If you are thinking of contesting a will in NSW, you should consult with professionals.

If the Will Is Inaccurate

There are some cases in which the will might not be an adequate last legal wish since it has not been updated. For example, if the decedent willed specific elements of an estate to people but the estate has expanded or contracted since then, that would mean that some things in the will are not up to date, which is often grounds for a challenge. Many people also challenge a will because it simply leaves out items that the decedent might have forgotten about.

If the Will Is Invalid

There are certain cases in which a will might actually be invalid due to the way it was written. A will is a legal document that has many of the same requirements as any other legal document. In many cases, it has higher standards for validity. A person must prove they are of sound mind to write a will. The will must also be written with very specific legal language. If you have any reason to doubt that either of those factors are true, it is possible that you could challenge a will.

Who to Call

You should call an attorney who specialises in dealing with wills. The attorney will be able to determine if you have a case. To make a valid challenge to a will, you have to meet several criteria. There are requirements about how long the person has been deceased as well as your legal standing. Only certain people in relation to the decedent can bring forth a challenge.

An attorney will have to determine if you actually fit the criteria of a person with legal standing to bring a challenge, and if the challenge is in the proper legal framework. Only a lawyer can make such a decision.