Contest a Will

Following the Legal Process can help you Contest a Will

If you are suspicious or dissatisfied with the contents of a Will for various reasons, you can legally contest it in a court of law. Engaging the services of top Wills lawyers can help increase the likelihood of a decision in your favour. However, it’s important to note that the decision of the court is final and binding and cannot be disobeyed or violated by the applicant or beneficiaries.

A Will may be contested for several reasons as described below:

  • You suspect that the testator (the individual making the Will) lacked capacity at the time when he or she drew up the Will. This could be due to mental or physical infirmity. Health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, alcohol addiction etc may result in lack of capacity.

  • The testator was unduly forced or coerced into making the Will. This may happen to due to overpowering influences of others. In such cases, the contents of the Will may be deemed null and void.
  • The testator was unaware of the contents of the Will or did not approve of them. The Will can be challenged if fraud was involved in the drawing up of the Will.
  • The Will in question was not the last testament.
  • The provisions under the Will were improperly executed

In general, you can contest the Will if you suspect the contents of the Will to be invalid for one or more reasons.  Each case is different and will require different legal strategies to help maximise the chances of a favourable decision from the court. The very step in contesting a Will involves making what is known as a ‘Family Provision Application’. A Will may be contested by spouse (or ex-spouse), children, step children, parents and creditors and they must file a formal request to contest the Will. Dependants may also file an application to contest the Will. Dependants include children under the age of 18 or parents. Only eligible candidates have the legal right to contest a Will.

According to Australian law, the applicant who wishes to file an application to contest the Will must do so within six months of the date of the deceased. The legal process of contesting the Will must be initiated within 9 months of date of death of the deceased. The court’s decision will depend on a number of factors including age of the applicant, relationship with the deceased, income and provisions of the Will and so on. The court will also consider any additional claims from other applicants before making a decision. Reliable lawyers can help expedite the complicated process and will be happy to provide advice on eligibility, time-limits and so on.