How to Contest a Will
Find out if you are eligible to contest a will. The laws that deal with the making of a Will Dispute Claim are complex and you should contact CWPL to see if you qualify.
Are you qualified to claim?
The laws of the Claim State set out the laws applicable to your claim. The Claim State is usually the State in which the deceased lived.
For all States and Territories except Victoria, various categories determine whether you qualify to make a claim, and each State has different categories. In order to make a claim, you need to have had a relationship with the deceased. If you are a person who does qualify, the legal term for that right is standing.
Categories of persons eligible to contest a will:
If the deceased died before 1st January 2015, you may be eligible to file a claim if you are:
- A spouse
- A child
- An unmarried partner
- A person who has been treated by the deceased as a child of the family
- Close family members (any parent, siblings, grandchild)
- Any other person who was financially dependent on the deceased
- Any other person to whom he/she had a responsibility to provide for
If the deceased died after 1st January 2015, you may be eligible to file a claim if you are:
- A spouse/domestic partner
- An eligible child/step child aged under 25
- An eligible person aged under 25 who was treated by the deceased as their child, and who thought that the deceased was their parent
- A former spouse/domestic partner, with an un-exercised or un-finalised family law rights
- A child of a spouse/defacto partner whose parent died within 1 year of the deceased
- An eligible member of the deceased’s household
- A registered caring partner of the deceased
- A grandchild of the deceased
- An eligible child/step child of the the deceased eg adult children/step children
For certain categories, but in particular adult children/step children, the amount that may be awarded by the court will be limited if you are unable to prove that you cannot provide sufficiently for yourself.
If Victoria is the Claim State, you do not need to fit into a particular “category”. However, you still must establish that the deceased had a responsibility to provide for you, and that the deceased failed to adequately provide for you on their death.
The above list is only a general guide to the different categories that may apply in each State. Not all of the categories apply in each State, so:
- DO NOT assume that you ARE qualified to make a claim until you ask CWPL.
- Similarly, DO NOT assume that you are NOT qualified to make a claim until you ask CWPL. It sometimes turns out that people are qualified, even though they do not appear to be on the above list.
The correct Claim State to contest a will
You also need to find out which is the Claim State. Sometimes the Claim State is not the one you thought it would be.
Time Limits to contest a will
Ask us what time limits apply to your claim. If you commence your Inheritance Claim or Will Contest late, you may lose your rights entirely.
If you are late, and have a good reason, CWPL may be able to get permission to file your claim late. So ask us about your options, but do not delay.
Ask us: Without obligation
Call us to confirm how the laws apply to your own particular circumstances:
- Do you qualify? Do you fit within an applicable category, in other words, do you have legal standing?
- What is the Claim State?
- What is the time limit within which you should make your inheritance claim or will dispute?