If a loved one has passed and you have not been adequately provided for financially, you may have grounds to apply to the Court for better provision. To do so however, you will need to meet certain legal requirements within a strict timeframe.
Who can challenge?
In Queensland only a spouse, a child (including an adopted or step child), or a dependant of a deceased person can contest an estate. The definitions of who is a ‘spouse’, a ‘child’ or a ‘dependant’ are defined in theSuccession Act 1981 and those definitions are unfortunately not simple. Any potential Claimant must ensure that they fall within the meaning of those terms in order to have their application considered.
Does timing matter?
Absolutely! There are very strict time limits involved in contesting a Will.
Any potential applicant should give formal written notice of such intention within six (6) months from the date of death to the Executor or Administrator of the estate or the estate may be distributed without consideration of your application. An application to a court in these matters must be issued within nine (9) months from the date of death, unless permission is sought and given by the court.
Such extensions must be supported by reasons why the Court should extend the timing such as if you were not aware of the deceased’s death, were unaware of your right to claim a provision or if you were under a legal disability.
Get the right advice and representation:
Ben Schneider is an experienced Practitioner with Colville Johnstone Lawyers and holds a strong interest in Wills, Administration of Estates and Succession Law including Estate Planning.
We urge you to contact and arrange an appointment with Ben to discuss any of these matters by calling (07) 3286 4077 to ensure that your rights are not lost.