Wills Disputes & Estate Claims

Berryman Partners understands that the administration of a deceased estate is an emotional time and it is not uncommon for disputes to arise concerning the wishes of the deceased. Whether you’re seeking to make a claim against an estate, seeking to protect provision which has already been made for you or you’re an executor who is dealing with the dispute, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and interests and ensure that you receive a just outcome.

Wills disputes and estate claims

If you have been left out of a Will or you do not feel that proper provision has been made for you in a Will, we can assist you.
The most appropriate course of action will usually be to make a Family Provision Claim. A family provision claim challenges a Will on the grounds that it is unfair. This claim is available to people who were financially dependent on the deceased and were either left out of the Will or who did not receive appropriate provision under that Will. Such people usually include spouses, de facto partners or children; however, the class of people who can make a family provision claim is not limited to those people only. For example, a former spouse or ex-partner may be able to make such a claim.

There are a number of other grounds on which it may be possible to contest a Will:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity: It is possible to challenge the validity of a Will if the testator did not have capacity when making it.
  • Undue influence: If you believe the deceased was pressured or coerced into signing the Will, this may be sufficient grounds to challenge the validity of that Will
  • Breach of trust: This might be applicable if the executor of the estate or trustee of a testamentary trust is administering the estate or trust improperly. It is possible for a beneficiary to seek compensation if they suffer financial loss as a result.

At Berryman Partners we can provide you with professional advice concerning your eligibility to make any of the above claims and advise you on your prospects of success. We will also assist in the preparation of your claim.

We understand how difficult this situation can be and the stress that it can be coupled with. Our goal is to give you peace of mind. We offer a friendly approach and our services are tailored to your situation.  We also try to minimise the cost to you. This means we try to avoid the need for court proceedings. If, however, court proceedings are necessary, our team has the expertise to ensure that you get the best result.

If you’re a beneficiary under a Will you may be affected if another person challenges that Will. We can also help you to protect any provision that has been made for you under that Will.

Advice for executors

Berryman Partners can also provide expert advice to executors to assist them in dealing with Wills disputes and claims made against the estate.

Such disputes can further complicate what is already a complex and difficult task for an executor. We understand the stress that this causes and will help you to perform your responsibilities confidently and accurately. We will assist you as the executor to negotiate and deal with any disputes and we will help you to interpret the wishes of the deceased and ensure that the estate is distributed in a fair manner.

News

  • 21 Jan 2013

    Your life circumstances change over time. A Will that was prepared for you at one stage of your life may not necessarily best serve your needs today...

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