Will disputes are a lot more common that most people realise, and in the event a person feels they have been unfairly treated as a beneficiary, it is possible to contest the will. First, you would need to talk to a qualified lawyer, preferably one that has experience in will disputes, and he or she would listen to your situation and be able to tell you if your claim would stand any chance of success.
Ifyou are thinking of contesting a will in NSW, there are online legal experts who are only too happy to assess your claim. The initial consultation would be free and without obligation, and some lawyers will accept a case on the basis that they only receive payment if the claim is successful.
You will need to gather up what evidence you have of your relationship with the deceased, along with any supporting evidence for your claim. What might seem like solid evidence to the average person, might not count for anything in the eyes of the law, and your solicitor would know exactly how a judge would view a situation, once they are fully informed.
Negotiate a Settlement
If your lawyer thinks you have a strong claim, they will try to arrange a negotiation meeting between all of the relevant parties, and more often than not, most cases are settled out of court. It is perhaps better to try to reason with other family members than involving legal proceedings, which is why your lawyer would recommend negotiating a settlement out of court. In the event this does not produce results, the only other options is a court hearing.
Once you have reached this stage, the outcome entirely depends on how the judge interprets the law, but if your lawyer is working on a no win no fee arrangement, you can feel confident of a satisfactory outcome. In the event your case lacks sufficient evidence, the lawyer would inform you of this and advise against commencing legal proceedings.
No Legal Costs
This is essential for most people, as no one wants to lose a claim and then have to pay a huge legal bill, which is why many lawyers will take on your case on the understanding that if your claim is unsuccessful, there are no legal costs for you to pay. This also saves the judges and court officials a lot of time sifting through claims that have little or no evidence to support them. The line between success and failure can be very thin, and sometimes the judge feels that the deceased person had a moral obligation to ensure the beneficiary’s well-being and will award the claim.
When a family member dies, it can be a very stressful time for all the family, and if a will is disputed, tensions can raise, which is why it is best left to the legal experts, who can act on your behalf.