According to several recent studies, over 60% of western Australians have yet to create a proper will. This means that many families will have to face the concept of intestacy at some point, which refers to the situation that transpires when an individual dies without a living will and testament. In this all-too-common scenario, the deceased’s assets, possessions, and properties will essentially be distributed by way of a predetermined legal formula. Thus, it is important for you to address the unnerving concept of death sooner rather than later, especially if you would like to be the sole decider of who gets what after you pass away.
However, one of the more nuanced situations within the field of wills and living testaments is the concept of contesting a will, which happens way more often than you might think. This brief article addresses the nuanced arena of will contestations and how you can take advantage of new legislation to obtain what is rightfully yours.
The Family Provision Bill
The antiquated Family Provision Act I, which originally came about in 1982, was changed when the Succession Amendment Bill passed in March of 2009. Although some of the codifications and stipulations were altered, the central motivation and rationale of the decree has largely remained the same over the years. In its simplest form, the Family Provision order ensures that adequate compensation is provided for eligible individuals, irrespective of whether there was an actual will and regardless of whether the eligible individual was even mentioned in the will at all.
In order to file a claim under the Act, the application must be submitted within one year of death, which gives mourning families plenty of time to gather their thoughts and pursue a viable course of action.
Who Can Apply Under the Provision?
The law features conditions that only allow certain people to apply for a claim, all of which are listed below:
- The spouse or former spouse of the deceased individual
- The de facto partner of the deceased individual
- A child directly related to the deceased person
- An individual that was entirely or partially reliant on the deceased person and a member of the deceased’s household
- A grandchild who was entirely or partially dependent on the deceased individual
- A person with whom the deceased individual had a tight-knit personal relationship at the time of death
The Court’s Concern
Within will contestation cases, the court is primarily concerned with the eligible individual’s ability to provide for him or herself without the support of the deceased. Educational progression, medical bills, personal maintenance, and the ability to advance in life are all taken into account by the judge, but as you might imagine, this is a very nuanced arena and it is extremely difficult to obtain a desirable outcome in this regard on your own.
Therefore, if you want to have the best chance at receiving provisions that you are entitled to by law, you need to find a reputable attorney that specialises in the field of wills and living testaments, namely with regard to will contestations. The most reputable lawyers tend to offer free consultations and they usually operate on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, which means that you have nothing to lose by hiring an attorney, and everything to gain.