If you are wondering whether it is worth the bother of Challenging a Will a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New South Wales shows that making a genuine challenge to a Will can substantially improve your financial future.
In Chandler v Coulson  the de facto partner of the deceased claimed that the deceased had not made adequate provision for his maintenance, education or advancement in life. In fact, the deceased had made no provision at all for her de facto partner in her Will, instead her Estate was to be distributed between her ex-husband, friends, charities and her de facto partner’s son. The Estate was valued at approximately $830,000.
The Court was satisfied that the deceased had a moral obligation to provide for her de facto partner in her Will. In addition, the deceased’s de facto partner had supported the deceased financially when the relationship commenced and performed household tasks such as grocery shopping, gardening, cooking and household maintenance. When the deceased fell ill, her de facto partner cared for her, with the Court finding that the deceased would not have lived as long as she did without the support of her de facto partner.
The Court considered the financial status of the deceased’s de facto partner finding that he was clearly in need with back and neck injuries preventing him from generating an income. In addition, he had no superannuation and minimal assets of approximately $2,500. In considering these factors, the Court decided that the deceased’s de facto partner would be likely to experience significant hardship for the rest of his life, if he was required to move out of the residential property owned by the deceased, or did not receive some provision from the deceased’s Estate.
After considering all the relevant factors, the Court concluded that the needs of the deceased’s de facto partner would be satisfied by an award of $400,000 from the deceased’s Estate, with the costs of the legal proceedings to be paid by the Estate.
Challenging a Will can be worth the bother. It is well known that the majority of Will challenges, are settled between the parties before they end up in Court. Regardless, if you have a genuine claim on a deceased Estate, the Court will usually recognise this claim and make appropriate orders for your financial security.
To make sure that Challenging a Will is worth the bother, you need to obtain expert legal advice on your claim and your chances of success in challenging a will. The earlier you obtain this advice the better, as there are strict time limits on challenging a Will.
If you need advice on Challenging a Will you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on how to successfully contest a Will or defend a challenge to a Will. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with client’s.
Contact Graeme Heckenberg today on 9221 2779. The first 20 minutes of the consultation is Free of Charge, this is to establish whether you have a good chance of Challenging a Will. What have you got to loose!
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