Are you out of time to Contest a Will?
Someone who was close to you has passed away.
It wasn’t easy for you when you heard this news, but what made things even worse was when you found out later that you had been completely left out of the Will or you can expect to receive much less than what you thought you were entitled to.
This must’ve left you feeling unappreciated, and that you deserved so much more, especially when you were so close to, or had been at one point so close to, that person who passed away.
However, you’ve now found yourself in a sticky situation, having not contested the Will (made a Family Provision Claim) within 12 months from the date of the deceased person’s death.
What to do now?
You’re late to the party. But that’s not to worry.
Even though the Court has a strict time limit on how long you’ve got to contest a Will, you can still make a Family Provision claim to receive what you believe you should’ve been entitled to.
All you need to do now is show what lawyers call ‘sufficient cause’ which convinces the Court why they should consider your claim and extend the time you need for your Family Provision Claim to be accepted.
Extension of Time
The Court will consider your claim by looking at the following questions to determine whether or not you have ‘sufficient cause’:
- The reason(s) for the lateness of your claim and whether the time delay is great or not?
- What prejudices, if any, would any other beneficiaries to the Will suffer?
- Has there has been any unfair conduct by either party?
- What is the strength of the claimant’s claim?
Of course, it is important to seek legal advice to determine whether you have ‘sufficient cause’ in your case.
Although the Court is hesitant to extend the strict limit of time imposed by legislation, there are many examples of cases where they have done so, especially if the applicant was unaware of their entitlement to make a Family Provision claim.
Remember, time is of the essence, as time limits do apply when it comes to contesting a Will, so it would be in anyone’s best interest to not delay any further, especially if you have been left out of a Will, or have received less than what you thought you were entitled to.