A will is a legal document which divides a person’s assets after death. Sometimes a person has not maintained an up-to-date will or has not divided their assets in the best way to provide for those left behind. When this happens, amendments to the will can by sought by relatives or dependants who do not believe they have received what is fair. They use the Succession Act to seek these amendments.
Only certain people are entitled to make a claim. Generally, you will be able to make a claim if you were:
- married to the deceased person
- living in a domestic relationship with the deceased at the time of their death
- a child of the deceased
- a previous spouse of the deceased
- a person who was, at some time, dependent on the deceased (including foster children, stepchildren, grandchildren or relatives who lived with, or were maintained by, the deceased at some time)
A Court will decide whether your claim is reasonable and order amendments to the will if you are successful.
Apart from your relationship with the deceased, the Court will also take into account:
- character and behaviour of the person challenging the will before and after the deceased’s death
- any contribution made to the deceased’s welfare (for example the time spent with the deceased or gifts made to the deceased)
- any other matters the Court considers important, such as the financial situation and needs of the person challenging the will
An application under the Succession Act must be made within twelve months of the death of the deceased.
Marriott Oliver has a teamed of skilled lawyers well versed in the Succession Act. We have spot on experience in disputed wills. Marriott Oliver can ably assist and help you to:
- understand your rights to make a claim
- understand your prospects of success
- challenge a will
- negotiate a resolution to avoid traumatic and costly court processes
- defend against an unjust claim made by another person
If you think you have not been treated fairly by a will, or someone is trying to make an unreasonable claim on your loved one’s estate, Marriott Oliver offers spot on help for you to achieve a fair and just result.