By Hadyn Oriti
While we may have strong views about where we wish our estate to go, someone who thinks they have been unfairly treated in a will may be able to challenge it.
A person entitled to bring a claim must be either:
a) the spouse, including de facto,
b) a child,
c) a former spouse,
d) a person:
i) who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased, and
ii) who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member,
e) a person with whom the deceased was living in a close personal relationship at the time of their death.
While there is nothing that can be done to stop a person bringing a claim, there are mechanisms to assist the Court to understand your intentions and to give the best chance to uphold your will.
Historically, the success rate of claims seemed to suggest that every applicant got something. However, we are noticing a trend in recent cases to suggest that is no longer the case.
We have assisted many will-makers in their quest to deny what they perceive to be unmeritorious challenges. For decades we have acted to uphold the Will and ensure the will-maker’s wishes are implemented. To ensure the best chance of success, you must put the right things in place from the start when drawing up your will.