In New South Wales any person has the ability to contest a will or make as we call it a “Family Provisions Claim”. However, like most litigated claims it is very important that you are aware of the statutory time limits. Without proper attention to these time limits it is highly likely that you will be unable to get over the first hurdle of contesting a will.
To make a Family Provision Claim an individual must be lodge and application within twelve months following the testator’s death. Whilst you can file outside of this period, the NSW Supreme Court will not accept the application unless there are circumstances that justify the application to be made out of time (which is unlikely).
What in a nutshell is a Family Provision Claim?
In NSW, any eligible person can contest a will through an application to the Supreme Court of NSW. These applications are made when someone believes that they have been unfairly treated through a deceased will. This includes either being excluded entirely or disappointed with the gift that has been left to them. The purpose of the Family Provisions Application is for the applicant to try and receive a larger portion of the estate.
As stated above, it is very important to make sure that you comply with the time limits to make a Family Provision Claim. Whilst these time limits vary across the states in Australia, in NSW you must make a claim 12 months from the testator’s date of death to contest a will.
It is very important that if you are considering contesting a will that you seek proper and knowledgeable legal advice. It is crucial to understand the time limits when considering making a Family Provisions Claim in NSW. At Adams & Partners Lawyers our team can help assist you with this. Please contact our office on 02 4721 6200.
Written by Cameron Spanner.