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Contesting Wills

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5 Steps to Contesting a Will

1. Ensure that you are a person who is eligible to apply

In Queensland you must be:

  • A spouse (including de facto and same sex partners)
  • A child (including stepchild)
  • A dependant

In New South Wales you must be:

  • A wife or husband
  • A de facto
  • A child
  • A former wife or husband 
  • A person who was dependent upon the deceased person AND a grandchild of the deceased person OR a member of the same household
  • A person who lived in a “close personal relationship” with the deceased.

In Victoria you must be:

  • A person for whom the deceased had a responsibility to provide.

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2. Check that you are within the time limit

An application needs to be filed within the following timeframes:

  • Queensland – 9 months from the date of death
  • New South Wales - 12 months from the date of death
  • Victoria – within 6 months of the date of probate being granted

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3. Consider the size and nature of the estate

Obtaining some general information about what is in the estate will help determine whether you are able to compete with other beneficiaries.

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4. Determine you can establish a need for provision

You must be able to show that you ‘need’ the money and this need can be relative to that of your competitors.

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5. Assess your competition

Who are the other beneficiaries, what relationship did they have with the deceased and how does that affect your claim?

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For information regarding the procedural steps that need to be taken to contest a will in NSW see: Contesting a Will in NSW: What to Expect