Contested Estates

Contesting a person’s Will is both emotionally taxing on all concerned, time consuming and usually very expensive.  Contested Estate proceedings in Queensland are governed by the Succession Act (the Act).

Who can challenge a Will?

Under the Act only the following categories of "eligible persons" are entitled to challenge a Will and seek further provision from the Estate:

How to change a Will

In order for a person to challenge a Will in Queensland, that person must establish that they are an “eligible person” , and that they have been left inadequate provision from the deceased person’s Estate. The eligible person must also establish that the provision is in need of the person's maintenance and support. A person’s needs for further provision varies on a case by case basis and legal advice should also be sought before commencing Contested Estate proceedings.

What will the Court decide?

The Court usually decides on whether or not adequate provision has been provided for an eligible person.  In arriving at any decision, the Court usually takes into consideration the following circumstances:

The Court makes orders based on what it believes is fair and equitable when all circumstances are taken into consideration.

What can the Court do?

The Court has the power to rewrite a deceased person’s Will and has the ability to change any inheritances received by beneficiaries under the Will. The Court is usually limited to making these changes in order to satisfy that adequate provision is provided to an eligible person where circumstances warrant.

Time Limitations

In Queensland there are time limitations in which an eligible person may challenge a Will:

  1. Firstly, an eligible person has an obligation to notify the Executor of their intention to challenge the Will within 6 months from the date of death;
  2. If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation, then the eligible person must file and serve Court proceedings on the Executor within 9 months from the date of death;
  3. If the eligible person does not do so within those time limits, then they may be prevented from contesting the Estate without first obtaining the Court’s permission to institute legal proceedings.

If you believe you are entitled to challenge a Will or have been left inadequate provision in an Estate, then contact OMB Solicitors immediately to ensure your rights are protected and to ensure you do not miss any statutory time limitation periods.

Contact our Wills & Estates Team TODAY!

Will & Estate News

See attached news articles by OMB for more information and recent developments in this area of law: