Adelaide Lawyers - Contested Estates & Inheritance Claims

We have successfully resolved many complicated Inheritance Claims and Will Disputes in Adelaide and South Australia (often by negotiation without the need to go to Court). We can also help you to realise or defend entitlements in a Contested Estate – see our client Reviews. Call us to talk to an experienced Adelaide wills dispute lawyer about your inheritance matter on a no obligation and no cost basis.

Will Disputes, Inheritance Claims and Will Dispute Lawyers:

Circumstances In Which You May Be Able To Challenge a Will or Make an Inheritance Claim

It is important to act quickly if you have been left out of a Will, there is some irregularity concerning the Will or if you feel that adequate provision has not been made. Strict time limits apply.

Will disputes, contested estates and inheritance claims will require a detailed examination of the deceased estate and the surrounding circumstances.

There are a number of circumstances in which you may be entitled to challenge a Will, or make a claim for greater provision from a deceased estate. You should seek advice immediately if:

  • You were dependent on the deceased and you have not been provided for in their Will;
  • The provision made for you in the Will is not adequate for your needs;
  • You believe that the Will is unfair;
  • You are named as Executor and the Will does not provide for a family member or spouse;
  • You believe that the deceased was not of sound mind when they made their last Will;
  • You believe that the deceased was unduly influenced by one or more beneficiaries named in the Will;
  • The deceased passed away without a Will; or
  • The Will is unclear.
Can I claim more than what I received under a Will? What are my inheritance rights?

Provided you comply with the time limits you can claim a larger amount than that left to you under the Will. Find out more

Will Disputes and Will Challenges

The validity of a Will can be challenged for various reasons, including the legal incapacity of the Will maker, undue influence by a family member or fraudulent circumstances such as invalid amendments to the Will or incorrect execution.

A common example of when Wills are challenged is when an elderly parent is taken along by a son or daughter to a lawyer for the purpose of making their Will, usually to give a greater benefit to that son or daughter. There have been circumstances where the parent cannot speak English well or at all, or is suffering from dementia. Where the Will maker has not had the opportunity to consider the terms of the Will, or did not understand or approve its contents, then the Will may be invalid.

Inheritance Claims

An inheritance claim may be made against an estate by a person who feels that they have not been adequately provided for.

Only close relatives are entitled to make such claims. Generally spouses (including former spouses and domestic partners), children and grandchildren have a right to make a claim. Step-children can make a claim if they were dependent upon the Will maker immediately before their death, or were entitled to be maintained by them. Parents and siblings of the Will maker can make a claim if they cared for or contributed to the maintenance of the Will maker during their lifetime.

An inheritance claim will be assessed by the Court considering a number of factors:

  • The nature of claimant’s relationship with the Will maker;
  • The claimant’s current financial position;
  • The size of the estate; and
  • The competing interests of the other named beneficiaries and any other person making a claim.

Who Pays For Contested Estate Legal Costs?

Importantly there is no cost to telephone us for an initial consult or meeting in our office.  We would be pleased to meet with you on a no obligation and no cost basis.  Please contact either Kristina Piper or Emma Marinucci on 8362 6400 to discuss your matter or to arrange a time for a meeting.

The legal costs associated with a contested estate (including the executor’s costs and a claimant’s costs) are often paid by the estate.  It is of course true that the more costs an estate pays the less that will be available for distribution to beneficiaries.  We are therefore as cost conscious and commercially minded with contested estates as with any other matter.

We understand that in most cases our clients are unable to pay costs while a matter is negotiated or litigated and we therefore normally await payment of our fees until the end of the matter.

Read our Client Reviews and then talk to us about your contested estate or inheritance claim matter on a no obligation basis.

Key People for Contested Estates: Inheritance & Will Disputes

  • Kristina Piper

    Kristina Piper

    Kristina is a specialist wills and deceased estate lawyer. She has a strong track record in achieving excellent results in will dispute and inheritance claim matters.

    Kristina’s legal knowledge is excellent and she has a strong commitment to client service. She is fiercely protective of her client’s rights and works hard to ensure her clients receive the best outcome.

    Call Kristina on 8362 6400 or email Kristina.

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  • Emma Marinucci

    Emma Marinucci

    Emma is a highly experienced senior lawyer and only practices in wills and estates law. Emma has the experience and skill to negotiate the very best results for her clients. She is a highly respected and well liked member of our estates team.

    Call Emma on 8362 6400 or email Emma.

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  • Priya Subramaniam

    Priya Subramaniam

    Priya is a highly skilled Wills & Estates lawyer with over 20 years of experience in drafting wills and estate planning documents and acting for families in relation to deceased estate probate applications, inheritance claims and will disputes.

    Priya is a caring and compassionate lawyer who looks for every opportunity to promote her clients' interests and to provide cost effective and accessible legal expertise.

    Call Priya on 8362 6400 or email Priya.

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