Legal Services

Contesting a Will Involves Several Rules That Cannot Be Ignored

The development of a will can be a tedious process, but most people consider this a very important duty, especially when you have a family depending on your health. When a person passes away, the reading of a will is usually a matter-of-fact occurrence, but what happens when a family member decides to contest the will? The contesting of a will can be a very contentious situation, but fortunately there are laws and regulations that apply to this action, which makes it easier for the judge to decide what to do about it. Not just anyone can contest a will, which is one of the reasons as to why the action is relatively rare. But when it does happen, certain rules must apply, which means that in most cases the final result is one that all sides can be happy with.


Basic Rules Apply to the Contesting of a Will

Everybody has the right to develop a will, so that their final wishes can be heeded when they die. In most cases, the court takes this process very seriously, and makes sure that the intentions of the deceased are followed to the letter. Because of this, most courts loathe changing the deceased’s final wishes, but in rare cases, there are exceptions that can come into play. More often than not, the only people who can contest a will are spouses and ex-spouses, children, grandchildren, and individuals who were solely dependent on the deceased for survival. After it is determined that your right to contest is authentic, the courts will want to know why you are choosing to do so. Once again, only certain reasons are allowed, and it is up to the courts to decide your reason’s validity. Most of the allowed provisions centre on need, which means that the family members must feel as though they need the deceased’s income in order to survive. When contesting a will in NSW and the surrounding areas, there are other rules to take into account as well, and a competent attorney can help the family member determine the ins and outs of the law so that there is a better chance for success.

Each Step of the Process is Important

When contesting a will, consulting with a competent attorney increases the odds that the outcome will be favourable for you. When the desire to contest the will is based on need, as it often is, judges take into consideration things such as your personal financial situation, any ongoing medical needs, your monthly mortgage or rent amount, and any future medical or financial needs you may have. In short, your entire financial picture is observed, so that an accurate determination can be made regarding the contesting of the will.

In addition to the individual’s “need” and the right to contest, the courts look at other aspects as well. Time is usually of the essence in these matters, and in NSW a person has only twelve months after their loved one’s death to contest a will. If you want to contest a will, doing so sooner rather than later is always recommended, as is educating yourself on the law and consulting with a professional attorney. Indeed, only by doing these things will the odds of a favourable outcome be increased at a time like this.