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Deceased Estates

Why are Deceased Estates Disputed?

Even if a deceased person did everything right and made a will with a lawyer before they passed, it does not prevent a deceased’s estate being disputed.

Estates are often disputed because of concerns about the validity of the will. These concerns typically involve questions about whether the deceased had legal capacity to make the will, whether a promise was made to a person not reflected in the will, and procedural issues about the signing, witnessing and form of the will.

 Estates may also be disputed because someone feels that they did not receive adequate provision. A non-exhaustive list of people that are eligible to make these claims are current and former spouses, children including stepchildren, grandparents, parents and members of the deceased’s household.

Depending on the size of the deceased estate, disputes of this kind can quickly drain the assets of the estate, leaving little behind to be distributed to remaining beneficiaries. That is why, whatever the reasons for the dispute, resolution requires a strong set of alternative dispute resolution skills to resolve the matter efficiently through out-of-court processes.

Strict time limits also apply to disputes about deceased estates, so it is important to act quickly otherwise your rights may be lost forever.

Our experience includes:

  1. assessing and advising on your rights to dispute a will;
  2. successfully bringing and defending applications to dispute a will or seek further provision from an estate;
  3. successfully engaging in mediations and other dispute resolution methods to achieve early, cost-effective resolutions,
  4. acting for executors, and prospective and actual beneficiaries;
  5. protecting the interests of infant beneficiaries.