Can you dispute a Will?

Do you consider you should have received an inheritance or were treated unfairly in a will?

If so, you may be entitled to make a claim against the estate under the Succession Act 1981 (QLD).

Under the Act, the following categories of “eligible persons” are entitled to challenge a will and seek further provision from the Estate:

  • A Husband or Wife of the deceased person;
  • A de facto spouse of the deceased person provided that person was living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis for a continuous period of at least 2 years as at the date of the deceased person’s death;
  • A child of the deceased person (including an adopted child or step-child);
  • A former spouse of the deceased person. For instance, a separated spouse who is not yet divorced and was continuing to receive maintenance from the deceased person; or
  • A person who was wholly or substantially maintained by the deceased person, who was a parent of the deceased or a parent of a child under 18 years of the deceased person or a person under 18 years of age.

In Queensland there are time limitations in which an eligible person may challenge a will:

  • An eligible person has an obligation to notify the Executor of their intentions to challenge the will within 6 months from the date of death;
  • If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiations, then the eligible person must file and serve court proceedings on the Executor within 9 months from the date of death;
  • If the eligible person does not comply within those time limits, then they may be prevented from contesting the Estate without first obtaining the Court’s permission to institute legal proceedings, which is very difficult to obtain and only granted in exceptional circumstances.

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