What to Do If You Are Left Out of Your Parent’s Will
Dealing with the death of a parent is never easy but it is often made more complicated in the event that their will is not as you had expected. In the event that you feel you have been dealt an unfair hand in your parent’s will, you may be eligible to contest it. Here are the answers to some of the most common situations in which children find themselves.
What If One Sibling Has Been Favoured Over Another?
Whether you understand their reasonings for it or not, in many cases a parent will favour a particular sibling over another. This can feel particularly unfair and hurtful in the wake of your parent’s passing. In some events, it may be that the estate has been left to the oldest sibling, despite you being of equal financial means, or it may have been left to the children of a present marriage, when you are a child from a past marriage. If this situation applies to you, then you have the right to contest the will in order to try and claim your fair share. If you are contesting a will in NSW, the Court will take into consideration factors like your personal needs, your relationship with the deceased, and the needs and relationships of your siblings too. If you were not sufficiently provided for in the will and believe you will suffer financially from being left out, then proving this to a Court often gives you a good chance of winning a fairer share.
What If You Had a Bad Relationship with Your Parent?
If you have been left out of your parent’s will as a result of having had a fractured relationship with them, are you still entitled to make a claim? This will depend heavily on the reasons for your estrangement. If you are at fault, for example, if your own personal actions were the source of the fissure in the relationship, then it is less likely that a Court will rule in your favour. A key factor will involve whether the actions of the applicant caused the deceased to lose contact with their grandchildren. However, if your parent is determined to be at fault for the relationship breakdown, as a result of things like abuse, you are far more likely to be successful when making a claim. If you are unsure where the fault lies, it is best to consult with a lawyer to discuss your position.
How to Make a Claim
If you have decided that you wish to make a claim on your parent’s will, you have a limited amount of time to put the process in motion. This varies from state to state between three and twelve months following the death, with a twelve-month time frame in NSW. You will need to build a strong case in support of your claim in order to have the best chances of winning your case. It is best to contact a lawyer who is experienced in this field who will be able to help you to gather your evidence and bring it before a judge.