Will Disputes – How long do you have to bring a Claim?

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Will Dispute – How long do you have to bring a Claim?

A claim must be brought within six (6) months of the date of the Grant of Probate of the Will or Letters of Administration.

In the event that you are outside of the six (6) month time limit, you must obtain the leave of the Court in order to issue a claim.

What could I receive from the estate?

Courts have broad powers in determining what you could receive from challenging a Will.

In the event that you successfully bring a claim against an estate, you may be awarded a:-

  1. Lump Sum;
  2. Periodic Payments;
  3. A percentage of the residuary estate.

In practice, Courts frequently makes orders to:

  1. Transfer real estate to a beneficiary;
  2. Give one or more claimants a proportion or a percentage of the residuary estate;
  3. Give a life interest in, for example, the family farm or house with the remainder to other beneficiaries;
  4. Award particular investments to a claimant, such as a share portfolio, diamonds or an antiques.

Non-financial Orders that are often sought include:-

  1. Photographs;
  2. Heirlooms;
  3. Items of sentimental Value

For advice specific to your situation, contact our office for an initial consultation without charge.

What Material Do I Need in Support of My Claim?

In order to seek provision from a deceased estate, it is necessary to prepare material in support of your claim. The form of such material depends on the value of the estate. For estate worth less than $500,000.00 the material should be in the form of a Position Statement. For estates worth greater than $500,000.00 an Affidavit is appropriate.

In accordance with a recent Practice Note, the material should make reference to the following matters:-

  1. The full name and address of the plaintiff;
  2. The full name and last known address of the deceased;
  3. The date of the last will of the deceased;
  4. The date of the grant of probate or letters of administration and to whom they were granted;
  5. The date of birth and the date of death of the deceased;
  6. Either:
  7. In the case of an application in respect of the estate of a person who died before the commencement of Part 2 of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014, the relationship of the plaintiff to the deceased and the basis of the claim that the deceased owed a responsibility to make provision for the maintenance and support of the plaintiff; or
  8. In the case of an application in respect of the estate of a person who died on or after the commencement of Part 2 of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014, the matters set out in rule 16.03(3) of the Rules.
  9. The nature and extent of the deceased’s estate;
  10. The major gifts contained in the will and the beneficiaries entitled to both the gifts and the residue of the estate; and
  11. The financial position of the plaintiff and of the other beneficiaries of the estate, insofar as it is known to the plaintiff.

Author Estate Lawyers

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