In NSW, the law that is applied to the wishes of the deceased as expressed in a will is the Succession Act of 2006 and the Family Provision Claim amendments. The guiding principle relates to the fairness of the will or the lack of fairness as defined in specific terms. It is necessary to use the legal process to determine whether the details of the document are fair.
It may also be necessary to determine if the deceased was of sufficient mental capacity to make the decisions or if there are individuals who are dependent on the deceased and must be considered in the results. According to the provisions of the newest law, a person may question the validity of the will and apply as outlined in the 2006 act. Legal advice is required, as stated in the law.
The new provisions reflect some changes in the terminology but the concept remains the same. Adequate provision should be made for certain eligible persons, whether or not there was a will and whether or not the eligible persons were mentioned in it. Application under this act must now be made within 12 months of the death, which is a change from the previous timeline of 18 months. Requests for extensions may be considered by the court.
General guidelines for who may apply include the wife or husband of the deceased, a person who was living in a de facto relationship with the deceased at the time of death (including a same-sex partner), a child of the deceased, a former wife or husband, a person who was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased and was a member of the deceased’s household, or a person who was living in a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of the death.
As mentioned, legal advice is necessary in order to seek determination under the Family Provision Act in NSW. The court will determine whether the will is valid by answering specific questions concerning the execution of the will in accordance with the formal requirements of the Act such as whether the will was made by the deceased, whether the will was altered after it was originally signed, and whether there was undue influence when the will was made.
If you or a family member believes there is good reason to contest a will according to the provisions, you would be wise to contact a professional with expertise in this legal specialty. You can get started by visiting the website of one of the leading providers of this specific legal assistance. Read some of the case studies to learn how he or she has helped others get satisfactory results from such a challenge.
These experts believe that there is a moral obligation to provide for people who are dependent on others when death changes the circumstances. This is provided for in a will. It is quite possible that you or someone you know has not been adequately provided for. This gives you the ability to make a Family Provision Claim on the estate of the deceased. Contact a legal professional today.