Who can challenge a will?
One of the biggest fears a person has when making a will, is the fear of someone challenging it.
Wills can be challenged for the following reasons:
- The will is not a valid document.
- The testator (the person making the will), was forced into signing the document.
- The testator did not have the mental capacity to make a will.
- The will has not provided any or enough estate assets to someone who thinks they should be a beneficiary in an estate.
The last reason is the one most feared by testators.
There are only a limited number of people who can challenge your will on the basis that you have not left them any or enough assets from your estate. They include:
- A current or former spouse (including a de facto partner).
- A child.
- A step-child but only if that step-child has lived with you and has been dependent upon you at any time during their lifetime.
- A grandchild but only if that grandchild has lived with you and has been dependent upon you at any time during their lifetime.
- A person other than those listed above who has lived with you at any time in your life and who has been dependent on you.
If you are thinking about leaving someone out of your will or if you think there may be someone who may be able to challenge your will, please contact our office and someone from our experienced Wills Team can assist you.
Anne Brown – Marriott Oliver Solicitors Pty Ltd – September 2016