Contesting a will lawyers Melbourne & Ballarat

Losing a loved one can be difficult, but it can be even more challenging if you feel like you have a right to their estate and your needs haven’t been considered. Our will lawyers in Melbourne and Ballarat can give you advice on your rights and help you contest the will.

Looking to contest a will?

If you feel like you’ve been unfairly treated or haven’t been included in your loved one’s will, you may be able to contest the will. There are some specific reasons that you can contest a will for, like if you’re a dependent of the deceased and believe you haven’t been properly provided for, or if you think the deceased was influenced by someone else when they wrote their will or made decisions about their estate, or the willmaker did not have capacity at the time of making their will.

Our will and estate lawyers in Melbourne and Ballarat can explain your options. With care and understanding, our solicitors can help you understand what’s involved in contesting a will.

What are the grounds for contesting a will?

Contesting a will isn’t easy. You can’t contest a will just because you’re not happy with it or believe the deceased made a mistake. There are several specific reasons that may allow you to dispute a will and make a claim. We’ve outlined the three most common reasons for contesting a will below. 

Lack of testamentary capacity

One of the reasons you may be able to contest a will is if you believe your loved one lacked testamentary capacity. This means they weren’t of sound mind or didn’t understand what they were doing or what they put in their will. There are specific things you’ll need to prove that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity and our solicitors can guide you through this.

Undue influence

If you believe that someone had undue influence over what the deceased put in their will you may be able to contest the will. Undue influence could happen if someone put pressure on your loved one to write their will in a way that goes against their wishes. It may include blackmailing or threatening them, or perhaps manipulating them into including or leaving someone or something out of their will. If you believe someone has had undue influence over the deceased, our lawyers can explain what your rights are.

Testator family maintenance claim

A testator family maintenance claim is a legal claim that can be made in Victoria. This can be used if you believe the deceased had a moral responsibility to make sure you or someone else was entitled to be looked after in their will and they didn’t receive an inheritance. The deceased may be considered to have a moral responsibility to look after someone who is or was dependent on them. This may include:

  • Their partner;
  • Their former partner where they hadn’t resolved their financial separation or divorce;
  • A child, whether they’re biological, adopted or a stepchild;
  • Their child’s partner if there was an obligation to care for them;
  • A grandchild who was dependent on the deceased; or
  • Someone else who lived with the deceased before they passed away.

Intestacy - What if there was no will?

If your loved one died without a will, you may be able to bring a claim against their estate. You will need to do this quickly as you generally need to bring this claim within six months of probate being granted. Our will lawyers can explain your rights and help you determine the best way to make your claim against the deceased’s estate.

Defending a contested will?

If you are an executor or beneficiary, you may have to defend a contested will. There are specific legal steps that will need to be taken to defend a contested will and address the claims. Our wills lawyers can help you understand your rights and make sure you take the appropriate actions to defend the will.

How MNG Lawyers can help

Contesting a will can be both emotionally and financially draining. Our experienced will and estate lawyers can help guide you through the process and explain your options in plain English. If you contest a will, our solicitors can take care of the paperwork, help you negotiate and if it’s needed, represent you in court. Get in touch with MNG Lawyers in Melbourne and Ballarat now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not everyone can contest a will. Usually, only people who were dependent on the deceased, like their partner, or close family members, such as children, can challenge a will. There may be some other reasons that you can challenge how an estate is divided but this will depend on your specific circumstances.
If you want to dispute a will, it could take several months for your dispute to get to court. That’s why it’s important to make your claim as soon as possible. A claim must be made within 6 months of the date that probate was granted. Claims can only be made out of time for specific reasons. Our will lawyers can guide you on the best way to make your claim and contest the will.

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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