Contesting a Will

The law can change from state to state in Australia. However, there are similar grounds to challenge Wills across the country. We take a look at some of the key points when it comes to challenging a Will, as well as looking at the best ways to ensure your Will is difficult to challenge.

When Can A Will Be Contested in NSW?

A will can be challenged for a number of reasons; however, the most common reasons to challenge a Will are similar across all states. A Will not being legally binding or people believing that a Will has been tampered with is one of the most common reasons for challenging a Will. Other reasons include another Will being created that could be a more recent Will, proper provisions not being made for loved ones, a mental issue or uncharacteristic Will or beneficiaries believing that the person was tricked into writing a different Will.

It is important to note that a Will can not only be challenged by beneficiaries involved in the Will but also anyone that has an interest or relationship with the person. Therefore, it is important that you have your Will drafted by a solicitor and kept up to date if circumstances change.

Preventing Legal Challenges to Wills

It is possible to take steps that prevent your Will being challenged, with one of the key steps being to be open and honest with your Will to your loved ones. By informing them of what your Will states it will allow them to know what to expect when you pass and what each beneficiary is expected to receive. A modern day example of this is Bill Gates, who has already stated in public that most of his Will shall be left to charities, thus eliminating potential challenges.

Having a strong paper trail in the creation of your Will, with each gift being well-defined, can also prevent a challenge as if the Will is drawn up in such a way where the language was clear and precise, the courts will rarely interfere with the wishes of the person. Therefore having a clear reason and strong evidence to support that the Will was not tampered with will bolster your Will.

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