FAQs - your questions answered
A Will is a legal document that explains what a Will maker wants to happen to their Estate after they die. If there is no Will, a person's Estate will be distributed according to state intestacy laws.
If you've been left out of a Will or haven't been left with a fair inheritance, it's good to know you can challenge the Will. Maurice Blackburn's lawyers will do everything we can to get your proper entitlement. Our first consultation is free and it's at this point we will tell you whether we believe you have a strong case that is worthwhile pursuing. If you go ahead, we will act for you on a no win, no fee basis (conditions apply).
Wills dispute claims are called ‘family provision claims’ in the ACT, NSW, NT, Queensland and SA; ‘testator’s family maintenance claims in Tasmania and Victoria; and ‘inheritance claims’ in WA.
No matter what state or territory you’re in, these claims can be made by anyone who can show that a Will maker had a moral obligation towards them, and that their entitlement in a Will is not enough for their maintenance and support.
It is not compulsory to make a Will, and not everyone has a Will when they die. If someone dies without a Will, this is known as dying intestate, and their Estate is divided according to relevant state or territory laws.
Probate is the first step in the process of proving a Will and administering the Estate of a deceased person. Our firm's focus is on contesting Wills that are in dispute and we can help clients prevent a grant of probate if a Will is invalid.
As well as handling Will disputes, Maurice Blackburn offers a range of other associated services. These include:
- Drafting Wills
Maurice Blackburn provides a Will drafting service. This can be completed without the need to visit our Melbourne office if you are seeking a standard Will. If you're interested in finding out more, please contact us for a Will kit.
- Superannuation claims
Maurice Blackburn also assists clients with superannuation policy claims. Along with contesting a Will, it may be possible to challenge a superannuation payout associated with an insurance policy owned by the person who died. You can discuss this with your lawyer during your free first consultation.
Contesting A Will: Kathy Kolk
Kathy tells her story about successfully challenging a Will. She was an only child and her mother owed her a moral obligation to make adequate provision for her in her Will. Maurice Blackburn was able to successfully increase Kathy's entitlement from four per cent to more than 40 per cent of the estate.