Most people believe that if they have a legal Will that it cannot be challenged.
Nothing could be further than the truth although some challenges are more likely to succeed than others.
Usually, a person challenges a Will to receive more from the estate - this takes the form of legal proceedings.
There are many factors that a court will take into account when considering these types of claims. In general, the courts will look carefully at situations where children or spouses of the will-maker have been left out of the Will or receive reduced benefits. It is a complicated area of law and each claim is decided on its own merits.
There are also time limits that apply – and these vary from State to State. For example, in Victoria, this is six months from the date probate was granted. Attempts after that time will need special permission from the court is required.
Knowing the period allowed for challenges is important for anyone who is appointed executor – especially when it comes to distributing the estate and its assets.
More detail on this topic can be found in our free, downloadable Executor Toolkit
or you can find more information about estate planning
generally, including who to speak to about your particular circumstances, here on our website