Three Central Tips for Minimising and Preventing Will Contests

Law Blog

Wills are essential for determining how property will be distributed after the death of an individual. The document ensures that one's wealth is handled as the deceased prefers. However, there are provisions which allow eligible individuals to contest the will. Eligible people include family members and dependents. If a contest is lodged in the court against a written will, the court will evaluate the case and determine the fairness of the document. Successful contests mean that the court will make decisions on the distribution of the property. If you would like to prevent contests against your will, consider using these simple tips:

Protect Your Dependents

Under normal circumstances, a proper will must give provision to close family members and other dependents. If someone who is eligible for an inheritance is left out of the will, there will be grounds for a successful contest. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all people who should be in the will are included. The primary cause of this problem is anger. For instance, you might want to leave a disappointing family member out of the will due to their negative actions. Unfortunately, a rash change makes it easy for a contest to succeed. If you must leave an important family member or dependent out of your will, it is advisable to explain the specific reasons in the document.

Destroy Old Wills

The existence of more than one document outlining the distribution of your assets after death can be a cause of problems. In simple terms, if more than a single will becomes available, questions about validity might arise. This could increase the chances of a successful contest in court. Therefore, if you decide to revise your will, it is important to mention clearly that former wills are revoked; you should also consider destroying the old will completely. Remember, the existence of an old will could bring up the issue of the validity of the newer will.

Prevent Tampering

If your will is tampered with in any way or modified by another party, it could cause family members to contest the content. Therefore, when you write your will you must ensure that the document is protected well for the future. You must also ensure that your executor is a reliable person who will not interfere with the will. Poor execution might cause dissatisfaction among beneficiaries, and this might escalate into a legal contest. If you are uncertain about the ideal executor or protecting your will, consult a wills and estates lawyer for guidance. 


14 October 2019

Marriage doesn't have to be a life sentence

No one gets married planning to get divorced, but by the time I see them it's pretty obvious why they are getting divorced. When a marriage is beyond repair I'm there to fight for my clients right's under family and property law and to get them the best deal I can possibly negotiate. Even if you feel like your case is messy or complicated, I can guarantee in my time as a lawyer I have seen and heard worse things! This site has a collection of useful articles and links on developments and case law in the Family Court of Australia.