There are a number of circumstances in which a dispute can arise about the validity of a will or a beneficiary’s entitlements under a will.A disappointed beneficiary, or other person, may approach the Court in respect of the validity of the will in certain circumstances, such as:
(a) multiple wills having been made within a short period of time;
(b) issues relating to the execution of the will by the testator; or
(c) issues regarding the capacity of the testator to make the will.
A dispute could also arise if a person has been left out of a will. Such matters are dealt with as Family Provision claims under the Succession Act 2006 (NSW).
The purpose of this legislation is to make provision for persons who would ordinarily be a beneficiary under a will or who are included in a will but not adequately provided for.
Who can make a Family Provision claim?
Section 57 of the Succession Act sets out who is considered an “eligible person” to make an application for a Family Provision order. These persons include:
(a) a person who was the wife or husband of the deceased person at the time of their death
(b) a person with whom the deceased person
was living in a de facto relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death,
(c) a child of the deceased person,
(d) a former wife or husband of the deceased person,
(e) 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,
(f) a person with whom the deceased person was living in a close personal relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.
When can an application be made?
An application for a Family Provision order by an eligible person can be made at any time within 12 months after the date of death of the deceased person.
If you would like to discuss your matter further, please contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our legal professionals.