Will and Estate Disputes

Unfortunately, family relationships can often become strained and it is therefore not uncommon that one or more family members, who would normally expect to be beneficiaries under a relatives will, consider they have not been fairly provided for in a will.

However, notwithstanding their late relative’s intentions, it may be possible for a person who has been unfairly excluded from a will to bring a claim for greater provision out of an estate pursuant to the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA). Classes of people who may be eligible to bring a claim under the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) include:

  • the deceased persons spouse or de-facto partner;
  • children of the deceased; or
  • parents of the deceased.

In certain cases, stepchildren, grandchildren, former spouses and former de facto partners are also entitled to claim.

If a claim is made, it is up to the court to decide if the Will (or if there is no Will, the law relating to intestacy) has made adequate provision for the claimant. If not, the court may order that provision be made out of the estate. A court will examine the entire circumstances of the case such as the financial resources and needs of the person bringing the claim, and the nature of the relationship between the deceased and the person bringing the claim. The person bringing the claim must be able to show more than that it is not fair that the deceased did not leave them anything in their Will.

Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced in advising clients on the issues associated with bringing a claim pursuant to the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) we have represented both applicants and respondents in such claims.

We are also experienced in advising clients with respect to all aspects of wills and estate planning, with the intention of avoiding family disputes, this includes:

  • liaising with the client to assess the objectives and wishes of the client with respect to the distribution of their property to their beneficiaries;
  • advising clients as to the type of will or power of attorney that would best suit the client’s objectives and circumstances (e.g. mutual will, mirror will, ordinary will etc.);
  • assisting clients to prepare and execute a will in accordance with their instructions and the legal requirements.
  • assisting clients to plan and effect a business succession; and
  • liaising with other professionals to determine the most tax effective method for dealing with your assets.

If you require legal advice in relation to commencing or responding to a Family Provision claim, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.

The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published.