A recent decision in the Maroochydore District Court has prompted me to write again about people challenging Wills.

A person can challenge a Will if it doesn’t make “adequate provision” for their “proper maintenance and support”.

To challenge, you need to be within a class of persons eligible to do so.

Mostly, challenges are made by the deceased’s disappointed:

  • spouse (including defacto partner); or
  • child (including step-child or “defacto” step-child).

It is important to remember that, in some circumstances, the parent of a deceased person can also challenge.

If the parent was being “wholly or substantially” maintained or supported by their child, the parent is eligible to pursue a claim if their child’s Will does not make adequate provision for them.

That is what occurred recently in a case before the Maroochydore District Court where a mother successfully challenged the Will of her deceased daughter.

The Court considered a number of factors, including the:

  1. size of the estate;
  2. relationship between them; and
  3. mother’s needs.

Time limitations apply to pursuing claims against estates, so it is important that you seek advice promptly if you are giving consideration to challenging a Will.