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.

Should you require any fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Hadyn Ori­ti on (02) 6583 0449 or horiti@dohlaw.com.au.

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