Circumstances Under Which You May Challenge A Valid Will

As the market value of property in Australia continues to escalate with each passing year, so does the number of court cases involving contested wills. Virtually every potential beneficiary wants to be entitled to a share of the testator's property, and in cases where a beneficiary feels that something somewhere went terribly wrong, they can contest the matter in a probate court. However, being a would-be beneficiary does not automatically accord you the right to have a share of the testator's estate. Therefore, you can't challenge a will on grounds that you simply deserved to get something under it yet you didn't. However, there are some special circumstances that may make a probate judge consider your case.

If you are a relationship partner

If you are a spouse or de facto partner to the testator and they have not provided you with a sufficient benefit in their will, you can ask the court to grant you a share of the relationship property. If you were legally married to the deceased at the time of their demise, you can provide a copy of your original marriage certificate to the court. If you were a de facto partner, on the other hand, you will have to prove that your relationship with the deceased existed. You can do that by proving you had a child together or the testator constantly made huge financial contributions towards your upkeep during your time together.

If you are the testator's child

Parents have the responsibility to cater for the needs of their underage children. These needs include good food, safe shelter, a proper education, good healthcare and so forth. Meeting all these needs requires financial resources. If you are the child of the testator, and they have not left you a sufficient benefit to meet your needs, you reserve the right to challenge their will. The court can grant you a reasonable share of the deceased's property on account of acting negligently under their will. If you are an adult child, the outcome of your case will depend on whether or not you depended on the testator financially at the time the will was written. If you are financially independent, your case is likely to fail.

Contesting wills can be trickier than you expect. A probate lawyer can help you build a strong case before a judge if you think you have solid grounds to challenge a will.