Willed Australia

Can my Will be contested?

A legal Will is an important protection - both for your assets and for the people you care about and want to look after and provide for. However, there are some circumstances in which a Will may be contested in court, if there are beneficiaries - or non-beneficiaries - who want to challenge the plans you’ve laid down.

While a Will created through Willed.com.au is entirely valid and legal, every Will can have grounds to be contested, depending on the beneficiaries, the assets and the circumstances, whether the Will was created by a team of lawyers, or built using our platform.

In some situations, a contested Will could be settled through mediation; in others, it could become a court case and will need to be resolved legally. Here’s what you need to know.

There are a range of people who may have an interest in, and could be allowed to contest your Will.

For example:

  • A spouse, ex-spouse or de-facto partner
  • A child, whether biological or adopted
  • A dependant
  • A close relative or a part of the deceased’s household or family, including siblings, grandparents and grandchildren
  • Anyone who can prove a close personal relationship with the deceased at the time of their death, for example - someone living with them and sharing their home

However, qualifying to be able to contest a Will doesn’t mean the challenge will be successful, and there are a range of factors that the courts will take into consideration if someone does attempt to contest your own plans.

What are the grounds to contest your Will?

If your Will is contested, some of the following factors and grounds may be considered; however, there are a range of additional questions that may arise unique to your circumstances and the circumstances of the person contesting the Will that could also play a part in determining the success of the challenge.

  1. Any provision you’ve made during your lifetime to the person contesting your Will, including whether you’ve provided them with any financial support in the past, will be considered when determining whether the correct provisions should be or have been made.
  2. The person’s financial needs and their financial wellbeing and circumstances will be a factor in determining the validity of their claim.
  3. Any disability whether physical, intellectual or mental that either yourself or the beneficiaries of your Will may have
  4. Whether the contestant has made a financial or monetary contribution to your estate during your lifetime, whether through gifts or providing ongoing support.
  5. Their relationship to and with you, both throughout your lifetime, at the point at which you made your Will, and at the point of your death.
  6. Any obligations to the contestant that you might have, or any promises that you might have made to them.

Being proactive is the best solution.

While it’s not possible in Australia to create a contest-proof Will, there are definitely steps that you can take to make sure your plans are as solid as possible. Thinking carefully and clearly about who your beneficiaries are going to be and what your division of assets will look like and having frank and honest discussions with the people you trust to advise you could help you to work out where the potential issues might arise and solve them before they become a problem.

The risk of having a Will contested doesn’t mean that the value of a WIll decreases in any way. It’s still important to make a plan and set out your wishes, because without a Will, any issues that would have come into play will be worsened by the confusion!

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Disclaimer: Willed is a technology platform that allows you to create your own estate planning solutions using our forms and other information. Willed is not a law firm and does not provide legal, financial, taxation or other advice. If you are unsure whether our estate planning solutions are suitable for your personal circumstances, legal advice should be sought from a law firm, such as Vault Legal.