New South Wales has specific laws in place allowing the Court to vary a Will notwithstanding it embodies the wishes and intentions for distribution of an estate. Courts may overturn a Will if a claim is made by a person which the court categorises as an eligible person, and where that person has not been adequately provided for by the Will. The Court looks at a number of factors including the assets of the estate, the relationship between the person and the deceased, the financial circumstances of all relevant persons (financial, medical and otherwise) and any other relevant circumstances. The Court has a wide discretion in the orders that can be made.
Application may also be made to the Court to have a Will declared invalid (such as the deceased having not been of sound mind at the time the Will was made or there may have been undue influence or external pressure on the deceased). It may also be necessary where the wording of particular clauses in the Will are uncertain or the administration of the Will is not being done according to the rules and regulations surrounding succession law.
It is important to obtain legal advice where you may wish to exclude a person from your Will or make a lesser provision than you ordinarily would.
It can be very difficult to challenge a Will and sound advice should be obtained before such a claim is made. If you wish to challenge a Will there are very strict time limits in which to do so and you should contact us immediately.