Contesting Estates

Who can contest an estate?

An ‘eligible person’ as defined by the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) can make an application to the Supreme Court for a ‘Family Provision Order’, also known as a Part IV application. These types of applications are most commonly made when a person, whether a beneficiary of the estate or not, believes that they should receive more from the estate than they are entitled under the Will of the deceased person or pursuant to the intestacy provisions of the Act if the deceased person did not leave a valid Will.

Only someone who is an ‘eligible person’ under the Act can make this type of application. The eligible person will also need to show that the deceased person had a moral duty to provide for their proper maintenance and support and that the distribution of the estate (either by Will or the intestacy provisions of the Act) does not adequately provide for their proper maintenance.

What factors are relevant?

If the eligible person can establish all of these factors, then the court will take into account the circumstances of that case, including the degree of the moral duty the deceased owed to the eligible person and the degree to which the distribution of the deceased’s estate fails to make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of the eligible person. There are other factors which the court will take into account depending on which category of ‘eligible persons’ the applicant falls under.

How do I contest an estate?

If you have been left out of a Will, if there has not been adequate provision made for you in a Will, or if you believe that the Will is not valid, you should contact a suitably qualified lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options, as there are time limitations on when claims can be made against estates. It is very important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as you can to avoid missing the time frame to make a claim on the estate.

Contact us today to arrange a meeting with our Principal Lawyer to advise you on your options.

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