In addition to the proceedings such as family provision claims, claims alleging the will is not valid, etc, Segelov Taylor are able to assist in other will disputes including:

  • Disputes between co-executors as to the administration of an estate;
  • Applications for Statutory Wills;
  • Rectification of Wills;
  • Disputes as to whether the executor has complied with their obligations.

Wills and estates litigation can be costly, drawn out and frustrating.  Great care should be taken not to waste money (or deplete the estate) and to not make what is often a bad situation worse.

Disputes between co-executors

Where a will (or the rules of intestacy) exclude someone, or do not make adequate provision for them, the law permits an application to be made to adjust the distribution under the will so as to render it more appropriate.  Only a limited class of people, known as eligible persons, are entitlement to make such an applictaion.

The process is known as contesting a will.

Applications for Statutory Wills

Eligible people are, in relation to the deceased:

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • A de-facto (including same sex partner);
  • A child (including adopted child);
  • A person who was, at any particular time, dependant (wholly or partially) who is a grandchild or was a member of the deceased’s household
  • A person the deceased was living in close personal relationship with at the time of death.

Rectification of Wills

To be successful in a claim you must be an eligible person (see above), started within 12 months of death (or longer if the court permits) and satisfy a court that you have not received adequate provision for the proper maintenance, education or advancement of life in the deceased’s will. Each case will be determined on its facts. A court will, in determining the matter, consider the following:

  • The adequacy for the provisions for your maintenance, education and advancement of life.
  • The circumstances of other eligible persons or beneficiaries under the will.
  • The nature and duration of your relationship with the deceased.
  • Your circumstances including your financial resources, earning capacity and your health.
  • The size of the estate.
  • Your relationship with the deceased including the nature and duration of your relationship.
  • Any contributions you made both financial and non-financial to the deceased in their lifetime.
  • Any provisions the deceased made for you during their lifetime.

The above list is not exhaustive and the court is able to consider any other matters it considers relevant to the determination of the claim.

Disputes as to the conduct of executors

In NSW, a claim must be commenced within 12 months from the date of death. There is limited scope for obtaining an extension of time.  In other states different time limits apply.

Are there other options to litigation?

An alternative to contesting a will is to challenge the will.

A challenge to a will is appropriate if the concern is not that the will is unfair, but that the deceased when they made it lacked mental capcity, or was subject to undue influence and accordingly that the will doe snot reflect their true wishes.

Segelov Taylor are able to assist in challenging wills.

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Free Case Assessment

We offer a free initial case assessment in all matters.

We will obtain preliminary information from you and provide some indicative advice as to:

  • the types of claims that may be available for you;
  • the merits of any claim;
  • the likely value of any claim;
  • our costs, and the terms on which we may act in the event you were to instruct us.

The case assessment may be by phone, via video conference (such as Zoom or Teams) or in person. There is no cost associated with this case assessment, nor any obligation to instruct us in your matter.

To arrange your free case assessment please complete the form below or contact us by phone or email.

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Contact us

We are able to be contacted by phone, email, web chat or video conferencing.  We have offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and regularly see clients who are to unwell to travel in their homes or hospital (although this is limited at present due to Covid-19).  We act for people with asbestos diseases in every State in Australia as well people living overseas.