A Will is a legal document that permits a person to make decisions on how their assets will be managed and distributed upon their death.
A person is entitled to leave their assets to anyone they wish. However, friends and relatives of the deceased can contest the Will if they believe they have been left out, or not sufficiently provided for.
Under most circumstances, claimants can include a de-facto partner, former spouse or any other dependants.
To contest a Will the claimant must begin their claim within twelve months of the death. The claimant must convince the Court that the deceased failed to make sufficient provisions for their maintenance, education or advancement in life.
To prevent a Will from being contested:
- carefully word the Will, making sure it is clear and unambiguous
- review the Will regularly to represent any changes within the family
- include a clause on why dependants have been excluded