Deceased Estate Disputes
Courts are prepared to virtually re-write the deceased's Will, if the Will has left out an eligible beneficiary unfairly. The person usually affected is a child (including an adult child), the deceased's spouse, de facto, or dependent.
Our firm has extensive experience in making claims for further provision on behalf of beneficiaries who have been left out of a Will, as well as defending the estate and its executor against a claim made by a beneficiary.
The fact that the deceased did not leave a Will does not prevent a claim for further provision from being made, as the Court will still apply the same principles.
Our approach is to drive the matter towards a very reasonable settlement, to avoid the expense of a Court action. This is particularly important, as in most cases the claimant's total legal fees are paid by the estate, and so it is desirable that as much of the estate's assets as possible are preserved, for fair distribution to the claimant and any other beneficiaries.
There are strict time deadlines in making a claim for further provision, and:
- The executor must be notified of a potential claim within 6 months after the date of death.
- The claim must be filed with the Court within 9 months after the date of death.