Have you been left out of a will? Or have been inadequately provided for? All aspects of family provision and estate disputes in NSW.
Estate Disputes are difficult to navigate and require specialised knowledge – any potential claimant should seek the very best legal advice.
The Law Office of Conrad Curry has been conducting estate litigation for 20 years and has experienced and resolved just about every legal problem to do with estate disputes for our clients.
Usually, the last will of the deceased is the document which is seen to be valid and binding. However, the last will may be held to be invalid in circumstances where:
- the deceased lacked the capacity to make the will as a result of an illness of the mind (testamentary capacity);
- the will was made as the result of undue influence or compulsion brought to bear on the deceased when the will was made;
- the will was brought into existence as the result of fraud.
If you are a beneficiary or an executor under a prior will of the deceased, you may seek to have the prior will validated (admitted to probate).
If successful then the last will has no effect at law.
Even in circumstances where a will is not invalidated you may have a claim if you have either been left out altogether or not adequately provided for.
In New South Wales this is known as Family Provision.
People who are eligible to bring a claim for family provision include:
- a child of the deceased person,
- a former wife or husband of the deceased person,
- a person: (i) who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person, 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,
- a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
There are a number of considerations a Court must take into account before making a Family Provision Order in estate disputes, including the relationship between the deceased person and the claimant. However, being estranged from the deceased person prior to their death is not necessarily a bar to a successful claim.
Whilst, a claim is required to be brought within 12 months of the death of the deceased person, there are circumstances where the Court will make allowances for the late making of a claim.
You should know your rights as a beneficiary. It may be the case that you are a beneficiary under a will but can’t get the executor to give you any information, or to distribute your interest.
Many problems arise as the result of wills:
- Non-compliance with the formal requirements;
- The failure of certain terms because the assets dealt with no longer exists;
- Partial or total intestacy where assets have not been disposed of under a will, no will exists or the beneficiary has passed away;
- Construction problems in wrongly specifying the asset or poorly worded charitable clauses;
- We deal with many types of estate disputes and can offer you the very best of advice.
This Service Includes
If you have a legitimate interest in a Will and are experiencing difficulties in navigating the law or handling disputes with other interested parties, we can help you with:
- Expert legal advice on disputing or challenging a Will
- Challenges to the validity of a Will
- Family provision if not adequately provided for
- Dealing with partial or total intestacy
- Filing a caveat concerning a pending or current application in an estate
- Challenging executors who inappropriately distribute or profit from assets
- Mediation or Court contested proceedings