Challenging a Will

Being left out of a loved one’s Will where you feel that you are entitled to share in the estate can be overwhelming.  If a deceased has not made proper provision for you in their Will you may be able to make an application under Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) to receive adequate provision for your proper maintenance and support (Part IV Claim).

A Part IV Claim is an application made to a Court for an Order that provision is made for a person from the assets of a deceased’s estate. The person making the application (Claimant) must show that the deceased had a moral obligation to make provision for the Claimant in their Will.

The categories of person eligible to bring a Part IV Claim include:

  1. a spouse of the deceased (current and previous)
  2. a de facto partner of the deceased
  3. children of the deceased (including some stepchildren)
  4. a member of the household of which the deceased was or had been in the past and would have likely been in the near future.

A Part IV Claim must be made within 6 months of the date of the Grant of Probate. An application can be made to the Court to seek an extension of time, but this is only applicable in extremely limited cases.

Sullivan Braham has extensive experience in both bringing and defending Part IV Claims.  We have significant experience in negotiating settlements out of court, and where necessary issuing Supreme Court proceedings to pursue appropriate provision for our clients.

We advise clients pragmatically about all of the options available to them including any alternative causes of action that may available so that they can make an informed decision about their situation.

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