Are you thinking about challenging a will? What are the reasons for challenging a will? How long have I got to challenge a will? How do I challenge a will? Do I need a lawyer to challenge a will? What are the grounds for challenging a will?
These are all questions we can answer for you, because we are experts in will challenges.
Challenging A Will
Once you’ve decided that you are interested in challenging a will, there are certain steps that need to be taken. This is a complex area of the law and strict time limits apply. In order to challenge a will, you will need legal representation.
What do I do next?
Ascertain the date of death
Obtain a copy of the will from the solicitor
Seek legal advice urgently – in Queensland, you only have six months from the date of death to challenge a will. Outside of this time frame, you will lose your opportunity.
A will challenge is either settled out of court, or if this isn’t possible, will be decided by a judge in court.
Who should I talk to?
You need to speak to a lawyer who is an expert in will challenges.
Our guarantee to you
There are 10,000 lawyers in Queensland. Only 43 are specialists in wills and estates, and Bryan Mitchell is one of them. We offer a free, 10-minute phone consultation and every case receives the benefit of Bryan’s expertis
Advice should be urgently sought from a lawyer who is skilled in challenging a will and the complex law around wills and estates. There are strict time-frames within which to act, and the actions required can be complex.
It is best to consult a specialist in wills and estates immediately.
What Are The Grounds For Challenging A Will?
A will does not make sense. This is usually a home made or handwritten will that is unclear.
The will may have been prepared by a person who benefits under the will.
It may have been signed by the deceased who at the time was quite vulnerable or who may have lacked the capacity to do a will. An example of this is someone with dementia who has suddenly changed their will.
It may be a will drafted under the coercion of another person. A sign of this is a will maker suddenly cutting out family members from the will for no apparent reason.
The will may use words that are ambiguous and the meaning of the will is unclear, or may make reference to assets that no longer exist.
There may be a series of wills that make complete sense and suddenly a new will surfaces that is very different or suspicious.
You are a spouse, child or step-child of a will maker who is receiving nothing from the will. You have a right under the law to challenge the will if you are an immediate family member and in other limited circumstances.
How Long Do I Have To Challenge A Will?
You must give notice to the executor that you intend to challenge the will of the deceased. This notice should be in writing and must be given within six months of the date of death.
If you are lodging a family provision claim with the court, you must do so within nine months of the date of the deceased’s death.
Five Questions To Ask A Lawyer
Are you accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in the area of wills and estates?
Do you have experience in handling will challenges?
Are you well-regarded by your peers (other lawyers) in this area of the law?
Do you have proven strategies to keep legal costs down?
Do you have a range of fee options, including no-win, no-fee?