Arbon Legal Group – Wills & Estates Lawyers
We provide assistance for a range of matters relating to Wills & Estates.
Contesting a Will
Have you been left out of a Will? There are strict time limits for Contesting a Will.
Each State of Australia has a different set of rules which apply when contesting a Will. There are different time limits and eligibility differs in each State depending on where the deceased died. If the deceased died in Queensland, the information below is relevant.
In QLD, if a person has been left without adequate provision from a deceased estate, they can contest the Will. The legal term for this kind of matter is a “Family Provision Application“. In order to successfully contest a Will, a person must be an eligible person in relation to the deceased’s estate.
If you believe you have been wrongly excluded from a person’s estate, please contact us for a no-obligation assessment of your position over the phone. Alternatively, if you are afraid of someone potentially making a claim against an estate, we can help you protect your interests.
In order to contest a Will in Queensland, section 41 of the Succession Act requires a person to fall within one or more of the following categories of eligible applicants:
- A SPOUSE, which may include the deceased’s:
- husband or wife;
- de facto partner;
- registered partner; and
- former husband, wife or registered partner.
- A CHILD UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, which may include the deceased’s:
- natural (biological) child;
- unborn child;
- lawfully adopted child; or
- A DEPENDANT PERSON that relied on the deceased, such as:
- An elder parent;
- A parent of a child of the deceased (provided that the child is under eighteen);
- A grandchild or step-grandchild;
- former stepchild;
- brother or sister;
- niece or nephew; or
- foster child.
- You are an eligible spouse, child or dependant person to the deceased; and
- You do not think you have been left an adequate provision from the deceased’s estate for your proper maintenance and support.
The Court will consider a range of factors, including but not limited to:
- The financial position of the beneficiaries (and any other claimants);
- The nature and extent of your relationship with the deceased;
- Any support provided to you by the deceased during his/her life;
- Any statements or promises made by the deceased to you about how he/she would divide their estate;
- The standard of living to which you are accustomed;
- Any contribution you made to the size of the deceased’s estate; and
- Any other matter which the court considers relevant.
A Family Provision Application should be filed in Queensland if:
- The deceased owned real property situated in Queensland,
- Lived permanently in Queensland at the date of his/her death; or
- Owns other assets registered or situated in Queensland.
- 6 MONTHS from date of death to give notice of your intention to contest the Will
If you intend to contest the will, you must give the executor written notice of that intention within 6 months of the date of death. After 6 months, the executor may distribute any monies held in the estate to the beneficiaries and finalise the administration of the estate. However, if you give notice outside the 6-month time frame and the estate has not yet been finalised, the executor should not distribute any funds until the limitations date.
If a person wants to contest a Will in Queensland and gives notice after the six-month window, they can still give their notice outside this time.
- 9 MONTHS from date of death to file your claim in Court
If the estate has not been distributed at the date when the notice is received, the executor should not distribute the estate until after the 9-month period.
It is important to be aware that “out of time” applications can be made if the Court allows it.
You are entitled to ask for a certified copy of a deceased person’s Will if you are:
- Mentioned in the Will, generally i.e. my children, or by name;
- Mentioned in any earlier Will as a beneficiary, generally i.e. my children, or by name;
- A spouse, parent or child;
- if the deceased had died without a Will, a person who would be entitled to a share of the estate by law;
- A parent or guardian of any child falling within categories 1 and 4 above;
- A creditor;
- A person who intends to contest the Will.
If you fall into one of the categories above, you are entitled to request a certified copy of the Will and the executor or the solicitor acting on behalf of the estate must provide it to you.
In Queensland, costs are in the discretion of the court and decided at the end.
- If the claim is successful, the estate will usually pay the applicant’s standard costs.
- If the claim is unsuccessful, the Judge may order the applicant to pay the executor’s costs of defending the proceedings.
A person is considered to die intestate when they die without a valid Will.
In circumstances where a person does not have a Will or the Will has been lost, you would apply for letters of administration, which is when an administrator is appointed by the Court to distribute the estate according to the rules in the Succession Act.
For over 20 years, Arbon Legal Group have been providing comprehensive legal help to the people of the Gold Coast community. If you require further information or legal assistance, please contact us today for a 15-minute, no obligation advice over the phone on 07 5562 0444 or email email@example.com.
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