We have seen an increase in disputes arising from Wills.
These disputes come several different forms. They can be a challenge to the Will by way of a family provision claim, contesting the validity of a Will, or making some other argument arising from promises that may have been made during the lifetime of the deceased person.
Challenging a Will
Challenges to a Will arise when a person they do not feel that they have been adequately provided for by a Will or upon intestacy. Plaintiffs are usually – but not always – seeking a greater sum of money from the estate to resolve their claims. Such claims must be made within fairly strict time limits.
> Read more about Challenging a Will
Contesting a Will
Contests to a Will arise when a person claims that a Will is not truly the last Will of a deceased person. This can be because of a lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, undue influence, and/or suspicious circumstances with a lack of knowledge and approval. This is an extremely complicated area of law. Generally speaking, no strict time frames apply to challenges of this kind but you should act quickly if you have any concerns.
Proceedings can be brought against an estate on the basis of promises made by a deceased person during their lifetime. This may oblige the deceased person to have left particular property to a particular person and if they do not discharge their obligation in this regard then a constructive trust to apply to the assets that they ought to have left to that person.
> Read more about Contesting a Will
Defending a Will
Executor and administrators can face unique challenges and a lot of stress and uncertainty when they are defending a Will. Executor and administrators always benefit from properly understanding their obligations, particularly where a settlement may affect the interests of other beneficiaries, particularly children.
> Read more about Defending a Will
Will Dispute Lawyers
Farrar Gesini Dunn specialise in representing all parties to Will disputes. We take great pride in providing top quality advice to plaintiffs and defendants to a Will dispute particularly in the ACT, New South Wales, or Victoria. We also act for parties in all other Australian jurisdictions.
Director – Will Dispute Lawyer
Tim joined the firm in 2016 having worked solely in wills and estates across all Australian jurisdictions. Unsurprisingly, he comes to the firm with a deep passion for all things estates – whether it be estate planning, probate, estate administration, and estate dispute resolution. He uses his knowledge to bring clarity to estate matters and has a particular ability to come up with simple solutions to tricky estate planning needs. He particularly enjoys using his knowledge to save clients from unnecessary tax burdens.
Tim has considerable experience advising clients in relation to their rights where a Will is involved. He has acted in many family provision claims in both the ACT and NSW where he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants. He fearlessly advances his client’s interests and is pleased to say that none of his family provision cases have had to go to trial.