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Challenging a Will

Challenging a Will with Our Wills Lawyers on the Gold Coast

When it comes to challenging a will, there are several avenues to explore. QBM Lawyers, your dedicated Wills Lawyer on the Gold Coast, offers expert legal assistance and advice tailored to your needs.

Challenging A Will, Wills Lawyer Gold Coast

Challenging a will claims are most often:

Family Provision Claims

Family provision claims, also known as Testator’s Family Maintenance Claims, occur when someone seeks provision or additional provision from a deceased person’s estate. These claims are often made by a spouse, child, or dependent who believes they were inadequately provided for.

Common grounds for family provision claims:

  • Nothing was left to them in a will.
  • They received insufficient provisions from the estate.

Family provision claims in Queensland follow practice directions issued by the Supreme and District Courts, aiming to encourage dispute resolution and the fair exchange of information. However, there are strict time limits for these claims, so it’s important to seek legal advice as early as possible. This process often involves challenging a will as unreasonable for the claimant, but it can also apply if the deceased did not leave a will.

Undue Influence Claims

You can challenge the will if a will leaves a large part of the estate to a specific person or interest without a reasonable basis. You can claim it was unfairly influenced by that person or interest.

Key factors in undue influence claims:

  • The involvement of the alleged influencer in the will-making process.
  • Evidence of unfair influence or pressure.

Undue influence disputes are fairly common, often arising between carers or siblings. When challenging a will on grounds of undue influence, the role of the alleged influencer in the will-making process is pivotal. For this reason, our Gold Coast wills and estates lawyers typically refrain from taking instructions from will makers in the presence of individuals who could benefit from the will, whether directly or indirectly. This helps ensure the integrity of the will-making process and minimizes potential conflicts of interest.

Later Will Claims

If there’s a later will, challenging the current one can be successful. Our Gold Coast wills lawyers always recommend verifying if the presented will is indeed the deceased’s last testament.

Modern Proof of Wills

In today’s digital age, courts may sometimes accept informal wills like text messages or videos if it’s shown that the deceased intended them to be their final will. Proving these informal wills can be difficult and expensive, but they can have a substantial impact on how the estate is distributed.

Lack of Capacity to Make a Will

Challenging a will based on the will-maker’s lack of mental capacity is also common. With an aging population, claims of insufficient testamentary capacity are on the rise.

Establishing Testamentary Capacity

To contest a will on these grounds, it must be shown that the deceased could not understand the nature and effect of the document at the time of its creation. Having a will prepared by an experienced lawyer who follows strict protocols can help reduce the risk of these kinds of claims. In cases where there are concerns about undue influence or capacity, our lawyers may suggest a contemporaneous medical assessment to confirm the will-maker’s capacity at the time of making the will.

If a court finds that the will-maker lacks capacity, the contested will is typically rendered void, and the most recent valid will takes precedence.

Expert Assistance from QBM Lawyers

At QBM Lawyers, our estate lawyers specialize in handling undue influence claims and other disputes related to wills. With our expertise in litigation, we strive to resolve estate disputes efficiently and cost-effectively, offering practical and actionable advice to our clients.

If you need assistance with an estate dispute, contact Peter Muller at 07 5574 0575 or peterm@qbmlaw.com.au. We’re here to help you navigate these complex issues with confidence and clarity.

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