Wills, Estates and Probate
Contesting or challenging a will
The death of a loved one or a family member is painful and traumatic and can be made worse when disputes about the will and inheritance become a reality. We take away the stress of a dispute between family members during this difficult time. Whether there is a will or not we can make a claim for your rightful entitlement.
Every person has a legal and moral obligation to look after certain family members and dependents, regardless of what is in their will. Even if there is no will, the legal and moral obligations of the deceased are the same.
There are a lot of urban myths about wills, including that as long as the deceased left something, even a dollar, the will cannot be challenged. Like many urban myths, this one is wrong. Not only must the deceased have left something but it has to be enough. The question of what is enough will depend on the size of the estate and the personal circumstances of each beneficiary.
We will make sure that you get a just and equitable outcome and are always realistic and straight talkers in our advice to you.
If you have grounds for a claim, we will act for you on a no win no fee basis. Our legal fees and costs will only be paid if you are successful.
There are strict time limits in which to contest a will. The law is different in each State and Territory. In Victoria you have six months from the date probate is granted, with or without a will. It is important to talk to us as soon as possible so that you do not run out of time.
You may be able to challenge a will and have it declared invalid if:
- the deceased lacked capacity at the time of making the will;
- the deceased was unduly influenced when making the will;
- the deceased did not know or approve the contents of the will;
- the will was not executed correctly;
- the will that was executed was not the last will;
- the will was made in suspicious circumstances or there is evidence of tampering.
Defending a will
We act for executors defending claims against the estate. Our lawyers have the knowledge, experience and understanding of both sides and that means we provide you with thorough and real advice.
Boon Legal has successfully defended many claims. We have the expertise, skills and knowledge to advise executors whether a claim by a potential beneficiary will succeed or not. A person must have a legal basis to challenge a will. The grounds on which to make a claim are limited and we will quickly identify whether or not there is a claim.
Only certain people can make a claim against an estate. The fact that someone is the child of the deceased does not give them a right to make a claim against the estate.
The death of a person is a difficult and emotional time for family and friends and is also legally complex.
Death is a much more complex time than birth. A loved one’s financial affairs have to be finalised, whether or not there is a will. This is known as probate. Where there is a will the executor appointed under the will makes the application. If there is no will the deceased’s closest next of kin usually make an application to the Supreme Court to be appointed the administrator.
The duties of executors and administrators and the size of estates vary. Some are simple and include a family home and modest savings while others are complex and made up of many categories of assets. Some assets that do not fall under the will include superannuation, trusts and assets held in the names of companies. Assets that are not under the will fall under other laws, regulations and procedures.
One thing common in all probate matters is that it is a time of high emotions and the outcomes are important to all the parties.
We understand how important it is to provide full legal advice and communicate promptly. We guide our clients through the probate process, advising them of their rights and obligations and duties as executors and trustees of the estate.
Our legal costs for probate are based on what we do, not on the size of the estate. Our legal costs are transparent and reasonable.
At Boon Legal, we regularly act for executors resealing probate from eligible countries so they can deal with assets in Victoria.
Probate and wills – Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina
Linda has represented people from Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina who live all over the world, making claims and defending estates where people died in Australia.
Linda regularly advises solicitors in Australia, Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina on probate matters that involve Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Probate and wills – People’s Republic of China
Annie and Teresa provide Mandarin speaking executors and beneficiaries from mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore to make a claim or finalise estates in Australia.
Annie and Teresa have the legal skills and knowledge about probate in both Australia and China to guide our clients through the process and explain the procedure, finalising matters.