When someone dies and they leave little or no provision for a family member in their will, those wills can find themselves contested.
In fact, it occurs so often that lawyers generally refer to these types of claims, as â€œblack sheep claims. In other words, the family member who has been left out, maybe for good reason, find themselves without anything from their Mum or Dad’s estate, and decide to try and do something about it. It’s a growing area of litigation.
Despite the law recognising a person’s right to choose who will inherit their estate, there are many reasons why a person may consider contesting a will. The law in most states of Australia, allows family members, de facto and same-sex partners, as well as any person who can demonstrate that they were financially dependant on the deceased, to contest a will if they have considered it unfair.
Jeff Garrett, Lawyer and Practice Director of Attwood Marshall Lawyers discusses the issue.