How can I dispute a will?
In disputing a will, you have two options: challenge the validity of the will or apply to vary the will.
For what reasons would a will be varied?
A testator has both a moral and legal obligation to ensure his or her dependents are adequately provided for. Dependents include spouses, adult interdependent partners and children. If the court finds that a will does not make adequate provision for a dependent, it may vary the will. The courts will consider a large variety of factors when determining what is adequate provision, including the dependent’s relationship with the deceased, the dependent’s personal characteristics and resources, and what reasons the deceased had for making or not making dispositions the dependent.
For what reasons would a will be invalid?
A will’s validity may be challenged because of the mental capacity of the deceased at the time of signing the will, and the conditions under which the will was signed which may have compromised the testator’s free will. A will may also be invalid for failure to meet the required signing and witness formalities or be partially invalid because of its contents. It is best to consult your estate lawyer for assistance in preparing a valid will or if you have concerns regarding the validity of a will.
Who can challenge a will?
A person who has standing to challenge a will is usually a beneficiary under the will or someone who stands to benefit if the will is varied or invalidated.
Can I challenge the actions of a personal representative?
The personal representative of an estate has certain legal obligations, regardless of whether they are administering an estate with or without a grant of probate or administration. If the personal representative is failing to discharge all their duties and liabilities, legal steps can be taken to address this.
What is the limitation period to challenge a will or the actions of a personal representative?
Limitation periods vary depending on the specific claim to be brought, the person who is bringing the claim, and the status of the administration of the estate. If a mandatory limitation period is missed, the right to pursue a claim is lost. It is important to seek professional legal advice as soon as you suspect that there is a problem, to ensure that any claim is started within the applicable limitation period.