Hi, this is Richard Dawson from the estate team here at OMB. Today, I’d like to talk to you very briefly about some of the contested estates that I have been involved in with family members who are leaving the decision to contest the estate to the last minute, and this has been jeopardising the ability for our firm to present their best case at the contested estate hearing of the matter, either at mediation or at the court.
So, in Queensland, somebody who is aggrieved under a will, or you’re a disappointed beneficiary who feels that you have not been left adequate provision under a will, there are strict time limitations set by the Queensland law, which says a person must notify the executor of an estate within six months from the date of death of their intention to contest the estate and claim more provision from the estate.
If the matter cannot be resolved soon thereafter, then the person must, and I emphasise must, institute legal proceedings in a Queensland court within nine months from the date of death. If you do not institute proceedings within nine months, then you must go before a judge and ask for what we call leave of the court to proceed.
Now, that is a discretionary power, and the judge may refuse it, which means you then lose all your rights to claim against the estate. The important message here is can you please ensure that if you are a disappointed beneficiary or you feel you’ve been left out of a will, come forward early, contact us so we can prepare your best case in as much time as possible. Thank you.