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Wills & Inheritance - Overview

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National Compensation Lawyers (NCL) provide a comprehensive legal service to clients on all matters related to Wills and Estates. For many, this is a sensitive area as it usually involves the loss of loved ones.

Our knowledge allows us to assist clients and their families to deal with the complexities of this area of law.

The best way to avoid disputes is to have a Will and to ensure it has been properly executed. However, having a legal Will does not mean it cannot be challenged. The usual grounds for doing so include:

  • The person making the Will did not have capacity. They did not understand what they were doing.
  • The person making the Will was influenced by others.
  • The Will was not properly executed or there is a more recent Will.
  • A person believes they have not received an adequate or fair inheritance and the deceased has a “moral duty” to provide for them.

Legislation dictates who may challenge a Will. In some States the list is limited. In Victoria, the list is extensive and can include spouses, ex-spouses, partners, children, step children, grandchildren, dependants of the deceased and carers. It does not matter if a person challenging the Will had a strained relationship with the deceased, was not mentioned in the Will or was expressly excluded from the Will.

The time period for challenging a Will varies from State to State and you should seek advice from National Compensation Lawyers. Normally a Court Application must be issued within 6 months of Probate or Letters of Administration being granted. In very limited circumstances a Court may extend this period.

Many disputes are settled at mediation. However, if a matter proceeds, the Court has a wide discretion. People have the right to leave their property to whom they want, but the law recognises they have a “moral duty” to provide for certain categories of people. Each matter is decided on its own unique facts. Factors the Court may consider include the relationship between the challenger and the deceased, any promises made by the deceased, competing interests of the parties, financial need of the challenger and size of the Estate. Legal costs incurred by all parties in challenging a Will are normally paid from the Estate.

Challenging a Will can be complex. Time periods and who may challenge a Will need to be considered. At National Compensation Lawyers, we offer objective comprehensive advice as to the best grounds to challenge a Will or alternatively, if you are a beneficiary/executer, the best way to defend a challenge.

National Compensation Lawyers can assist you with disputes regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney or the appointment of Administrators and/or Guardians where a person can no longer manage their financial affairs or make appropriate decisions about their and their family’s wellbeing.

National Compensation Lawyers offer visiting services throughout Victoria. We will come to you. National Compensation Lawyers act on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. Simply put, this means that if we do not win, you do not pay our legal fees.  

Please read more about Wills and Inheritance claims in our FAQ section.

Our Commitment to You

 National Compensation Lawyers are Fearless. We will take on difficult matters.

National Compensation Lawyers are Determined. We will fight to ensure you receive your maximum entitlements.

National Compensation Lawyers are Compassionate. We genuinely care. We will guide you through the legal process with patience and understanding.

For more information or to arrange an obligation free consultation with a lawyer please call us on 1300 FEARLESS (1300 332 753).