Can I contest a Will?
You may be able to contest a Will if one of the following situations exists:
- the Will doesn’t provide for, or meet the expectations of, beneficiaries
- the Will doesn’t make any provision for someone who expected to be a beneficiary
- there is suspicion of undue influence occurring when the Will was signed
- the person making the Will did not have mental capacity at the time
- there are mutual wills or a contract to make a Will that required the will maker to do something other than what the final Will says
Who can contest a Will?
The process of challenging a Will in Queensland is referred to as a Family Provision Application.
Applications can generally be made by spouses (including de factos), children (including step and adopted children) and some dependants (dependant parents, the other parent of an under 18 child of the deceased or anyone else under 18 who was dependant on the deceased person).
How to apply?
The application must be made to the Supreme Court of Queensland. While this process can be undertaken by individuals it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice before proceeding.
Are there time limits?
An executor of an estate may distribute the assets of the estate 6 months from the date of death of the deceased. You should therefore notify the executor within 6 months from the date of death.
There is then a statutory limit of 9 months for lodging the application with the Supreme Court. If your application is not lodged within 9 months of the date of death your application may not be considered.
If you believe you may have valid grounds to challenge an estate please contact a member of our Wills, Estates, Planning + Structuring team or Litigation + Dispute Resolution team.