How to Take Action Following an Accident

Can You Contest a Will After It's Been Distributed?

The legal system allows certain individuals to contest the content of a will, which is typically done before the issuance of the grant of probate. Yet you may have just found out about the individual's death, and believe you should have been included in that will. Is there anything you can do after probate or even after the distribution of assets? While this scenario may be quite complex, you may have a path forward. What do you need to know?

Understanding Your Eligibility

Firstly, there are limits to who can contest a will. To be eligible, you will normally be a relative or dependent, such as a spouse, child, parent or de facto partner. However, you may have a rightful claim if you can prove that you provided certain support to the willmaker when they were alive.

In your case, you may have provided this support some time ago but have not kept in touch with the individual recently. Therefore, you may not have been aware of their passing or the will itself, so now you want to look at your options.

Checking the Timeline

Before you proceed, check the laws in your state or territory. There may be limitations to when you can contest a will, which could be a given number of months after the death or the grant of probate. If you are still okay as far as the timeline is concerned, you then need to move quickly to put forward your case. It can certainly be difficult to recover estate assets if the executor has already distributed them.

Developing Your Case

As you craft your case, you must clearly outline the quality of your relationship with the will-maker. You may need to bring in third-party evidence to support the case, especially if there is no clear evidence on file. You then need to show that your financial needs are such that you would benefit from some of those assets.

If you find it difficult to make ends meet due to a certain disability, you can also provide that detail as part of your case. Can you show that you have been treated unreasonably by being left out of the will and that you should have reasonably expected to receive some benefit? These are the questions that the court will ask, so you need to do your best to present the information.

Moving Forward

So, if you feel that you have been hard done by and that you should have benefited from the estate distribution, get legal advice. Working with a lawyer specialising in wills and estates will help you craft your case.

Contact a will dispute lawyer to learn more.