Contesting a Will? What you need to know.
Contesting A Will – What information am I required to release?
Are thinking about challenging a will with a Family Provision Claim (FPC)? Rest assured that your lawyer can assess and prepare your case, but what information do they need? This article will provide an overview of the details required for an applicant to bring an FPC.
Setting out your case
The initiation of an FPC comes with the requirement to give the executor an affidavit. This affidavit is a written version of what would be said in court, it stands as your proof for any claims. Essentially, the document serves as a representation of oral evidence.
It is important to demonstrate your eligibility to bring a FPC when making a claim. To be eligible, you must be a spouse, de-facto spouse, child, step-child or a dependent of the deceased. You must also demonstrate that you do not receive adequate provision under the will (or on intestacy). Other people who may be eligible to bring an FPA include any other beneficiaries named in the will, or any of the deceased’s next-of-kin, such as siblings or parents.
Who are the potential beneficiaries?
In addition, anyone with an interest in the deceased’s estate, such as beneficiaries, should be disclosed in your affidavit. Along with providing your and your spouse’s assets, liabilities, and sources of income, you should include documentary evidence, such as bank statements, share statements, title searches, and tax assessments. This will help ensure that your affidavit is comprehensive and accurate.
HazeLegal can help you prepare your affidavit. To ensure you have the best chance of success with your case, it is important to give your lawyer all the relevant information to draft your affidavit. This includes providing details such as:
- Details about your relationship with the deceased (including conduct by either party which could have affected the deceased’s views about that relationship);
- Evidence that you are an eligible applicant (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate or for de facto spouses, documents evidencing the relationship);
- Background information about the deceased’s family;
- Details of any contributions you have made to the building up of the deceased’s estate or to the welfare of the deceased (e.g. working in a family business for less than market rate, providing free labour to improve assets, assisting the deceased with chores which otherwise the deceased would have paid for etc);
- Your and your spouse’s financial position including details of your assets, liabilities and income;
- Your financial needs and obligations now and into the future (e.g. medical costs, housing costs etc);
- Your ability to meet your financial needs and obligations;
- Any physical, intellectual or mental conditions you or your family suffer from;
- Information about any competing claims (e.g. the financial position and circumstances of the beneficiaries); and
- By providing this information to your lawyer, they can ensure that your affidavit is accurate and complete, and that your case is properly prepared.
Getting good advice early on about bringing or defending a Family Provision Claim can make all the difference. Don’t hesitate to call HazeLegal if you need advice on such matters – it could be the best decision you make.