What is Estate Litigation?
All too often the death of a loved one can lead to disagreements or misunderstanding between family members. These disputes can occur for a variety of reasons and at Bell Legal Group we have the knowledge and experience to ensure issues can be resolved efficiently while endeavouring to maintain those important family relationships for the future.
What We Offer
- Contesting the validity of a Will.Wills can be contested if you believe there is reason to doubt the validity of the Will by reason of:
- o fraud,
o undue influence,
o that the testator lacked capacity at the time of drawing and executing the Will,
o the Will is not correctly signed and witnessed, or has been later changed;
o the Will being relied on is not the last Will of the deceased person or that Will has since been revoked.
- o fraud,
- Informal Wills. Increasing people are making their Wills by text message, video or in a manner which is not in accordance with the strict requirements of the legislation. If this occurs an application can be made to the Court to approve and give effect to the terms of the informal Will.
- Construction of the Will. If the terms of the Will are ambiguous or the meaning is disputed, an application can be made for the Court to determine the meaning of the Will.
- Rectification of the Will. In circumstances where there is an error in the Will, the Court can rectify the terms of the Will to put into effect the wishes of the testator.
- Family provision claim. It can be distressing to learn that you have been omitted from a person’s Will or to learn that you have been gifted less than others, in circumstances where you feel the deceased person had a moral obligation to provide for you under their Will or intestacy. A family provision claim is an application seeking further and better provision from a deceased person’s estate. The category of eligible claimants is limited, but is, in general terms in Queensland, spouses (including de facto spouses and dependent former spouses), children (including step-children and adopted children) and dependants. In Queensland, potential applicants should notify the executor or administrator of their intention to make a claim within six months of the date of death and file the application in the Court within nine months of the date of death.
- Executor delay, mismanagement. Beneficiaries or executors can make application to the Court seeking to remove one or more of the executors on the basis that the appointed executors have unnecessarily delayed administration of the estate, mismanaged the estate administration or are simply unable to agree on the estate administration.
- Disputed executor decisions. Estate administration can be complex with competing interests to be considered. In circumstances where executors are unable to agree or a beneficiary disagrees with executor decisions, it is important to be aware of the responsibilities and obligations of the executors as well as the rights of beneficiaries.
- Beneficiary claim of transfer of assets by attorney. If an attorney appointed under a Power of Attorney has transferred or sold the principal’s property a claim can be made against either the attorney or the deceased person’s estate. It may be that the transfer was:
- an unauthorised transfer; or
- simply that the attorney was unaware an item had been specifically gifted under the deceased’s Will and that item has been disposed of before the person’s death.
A beneficiary can a claim for compensation against the attorney or the estate. Actions under the Powers of Attorney Act must be commenced within six months of the date of death of the principal.
- Intestacy and applications for a Grant. Applications for a Grant of Letters of Administration in circumstances where the deceased died without a Will or where the executors appointed under the Will are unable to act.
- Court ordered or Statutory Wills. In circumstances where a person lacks capacity and has never made a Will or their circumstances have changed since making their last Will necessitating amendment of that Will, an application can be made to the Court for a Statutory Will. The Court can also make Statutory Wills for children, in certain circumstances.
Why Bell Legal Group?
We are here for you. With a team experienced in both succession law and litigation, we take the time to consider all possible resolutions and work to achieve the best outcome for you in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Don’t rush into making the wrong costly decisions.
Talk to us. Talk to Bell Legal Group.
We’re here for you.