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Not in the Will? How to contest a Will in Victoria

The death of a loved one is a challenging time and can be made even more stressful if you discover you are not in the Will or have not been left with what you feel you deserve. At Maddens Lawyers, our experienced team understands the delicate nature of contesting a Will and are dedicated to helping clients find resolution and closure.

Understanding Will contests
A Will is a legal document that outlines how a person's estate is to be distributed after their passing. Even if someone is not in the Will, they may be eligible to claim provision from the estate. Generally, people who contest a Will do so because:

  • They are not in the Will.
  • They believe they were not adequately provided for in the Will.
  • They believe the Will in question was invalid.
  • The deceased did not have a Will.

Who can contest a Will?
State legislation outlines who can contest a Will. Within Victoria, those that can contest a Will include:

  • Spouses - this includes a husband or wife, or a registered or de-facto partner of the deceased. In specific circumstances, former spouses may also contest a Will.
  • Children - this includes biological and legally adopted children as well as stepchildren and 'assumed' children.
  • In very specific circumstances, those considered 'dependents' and fall outside the above categories may be eligible to contest a Will.

Time limits of contesting a Will
Within Victoria, there is a strict six-month period for contesting a Will. An application to contest a Will must be lodged within six months of the Grant of Probate. In limited cases, a Will may be contested after the six-month limitations period, however, the Executor may begin distribution of the assets of the estate after this time and following distribution opportunities to contest are severely limited.

Not in the Will? Maddens Lawyers can help
If you believe you are not in the Will or have been unfairly provided for, use our free online claim checker at any time  to find out if you have a claim in which we can help you with. Alternatively, contact our experienced team on 1800 815 228 for a free telephone consultation to discuss your specific circumstances.

Upon consultation with our team, you will be equipped with an understanding of the strength of your claim and will be confident in deciding how to proceed.

Written by Maddens Lawyers Wills & Estate Litigation Department.

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