Obligations beyond Death – Who Gets What?

When a relative or loved one passes away, there is a time of mourning. Tears are shed, but it all ultimately leads up to the dead’s possessions. What will their will entail? What will you get? Property and money are typically left behind in a will, and though it may be a painful process to obtain such large objects of remembrance, it is legally necessary.

What Makes You Part of the Process

A will can leave behind property and objects to whomever the deceased had wished, but certain people can go through the process of contesting a will in NSW. This refers to the Family Provisions Act of 1982 which allows “eligible persons” to contest the will of the deceased person. The people provided the opportunity to contest a will includes the wife or husband of the deceased, children, a former spouse or former spouses, a person that was partly dependent on the deceased, or a grandchild of the deceased. You cannot contest the will if you do not fall into one of those categories.

If you do fall into one of those categories, you will not only need proof of your relationship to the deceased to show a judge in court, but you will also need have to have a valid reason for the financial gain the will would perhaps provide you with. This is determined on a “need” basis.

You’ve Been Left out Due to Bad Blood

It is often that there have been a fair share of fights between you and your relative. If it just so happens that one of those fights led to the dis-inclusion of you in their will, then this is what the law has to say about it, though each state and territory in Australia has a different way of dealing with the issue.

Typically, if the reason you are not in the will is because of the relative, you have a better chance of getting what you want. If you are at fault, however, the court will be less likely to give you what you assume to be yours. This is all determined through an analysis of the facts for each scenario.

How to Sort Out Priorities

If there are widows, distant family members, and children from former marriages, priority becomes a big question. This will all be up to the court and how society perceives the union of marriage. The court will use the facts that are presented and then make a further determination based off of need.

It is often sorted out so that the widow is well taken care of, especially if the relationship involved was a long one. The court will often ensure that a portion is established to the children as well, especially is the need for financial stability is great. When it comes to children from a former marriage and children in the present marriage, there is no distinction between the two. In the eyes of the court, both are viewed equally as children.

These are just three things to know about contesting a will. Be sure to read up on more facts if needed, especially if you feel you’ve been left out of what you deserve.

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