If you feel like you have been treated unfairly when it came to sharing assets among your siblings, you may have the right to contest a will set up by your deceased parents. To enhance your chance of getting what you deserve, you may want to talk with solicitors who understand the local law when it comes to will disputes. Consider these factors when contesting a will.
Consider Whether There Is A Time Limit When Contesting A Will
Every state in Australia may have certain laws when it comes to the timing for disputing a will, so make sure you're aware of the laws beforehand, or you might just miss the boat. For example, the NSW government website states that an application to contest a will must be undertaken within 12 months of a person's death. Make sure you seek advice from your solicitor as soon as a loved one dies if you think that you may need to contest a will to protect your rights as a legal heir.
Consider Whether You Have A Strong Claim
Keep in mind that despite contesting a will, you may not receive everything you want. The court will consider several factors before making a decision. For example, if the will has already made sufficient provisions for your upkeep, then the court may feel as if you are not justified in asking for more. Similarly, if your siblings compete with similar claims, then the court will consider every application before coming to a conclusion. Your financial status and the people you live with will also be taken into account, so talk to your solicitor to identify whether you have a strong claim to begin with.
Consider Why You're Disputing The Will
There's no way of knowing whether you will be successful or not when contesting a will, or whether you will get everything you want. Before contesting the will, decide if this is what you really want. Are you willing to put your relationship with your family at risk? Are you prepared for the long battle you're about to face with other family members? Has the will made enough provisions for you already and is greed driving you to ask for more? Your solicitor will review your personal circumstance and will give you honest feedback about whether you stand a chance or not. You then need to determine if this is what you really want.
Contesting a will can be trying emotionally and financially, so take the time to consider these factors before making any final decisions.