When a loved one dies, you are probably not thinking of yourself at all. As you deal with the grief of losing someone, their will can sometimes provide a tiny bit of relief. The final will and testament of a loved one is supposed to express how they wanted to leave their legacy, and how their assets are to be allocated. It can provide comfort to those who were dependent on the loved one as well. If you or someone else was cared for by the decedent, the will is supposed to outline how you will continue to be cared for. For many people, that is a relief. However, these processes do not always go as they should, and a will could be found to be invalid. There are many reasons why a will might not be valid, and in certain cases, the inadequacies of the will can actually render it void.
Contesting a Will
There is nothing further from your mind when a loved one dies. However, if you think you have not been adequately represented in the will, you can file a claim and contest the will. The Family Provision Act in NSW provides the framework for how you could challenge the validity of the will. The act states that the dependents of a deceased person should still be cared for after that person’s death. This usually applies to family members, including children, elderly family members, or ill family members. It outlines what sorts of services, assets, and support you are entitled to after the passing of your loved one.
If you think you or someone else has not been properly treated by a will, you can contest it with the help of a great lawyer.
Finding an Attorney
You should find an attorney who has experience contesting wills on various grounds. The grounds for contesting are, broadly speaking, when the terms of a will do not provide adequate care for dependents. There can be many reasons a situation such as this may occur, and a great attorney can guide you through the process. Since a will is a legally-binding document, it has to be signed by someone who has the capacity to sign legal documents. It can be rendered null and void if those conditions aren’t met. For example, if someone is mentally unstable toward the end of their life, they might not be legally competent to sign a will. If the will was signed anyway, it might not be legitimate.
Furthermore, wills aren’t updated as often as they should be. If something changed drastically since the will was last updated, it might not adequately account for these changes. For example, the birth of a child or the passing of a loved one could disorganise the terms of the will. If the child was born after the last update to the will, he or she might not even be included and yet is still entitled to some portion of the state. Furthermore, if someone who was listed in the will is no longer living, they are obviously no longer entitled to the estate.